HiBy R8 Review

HiBy R8

Today we look at HiBy’s flagship portable player, the HiBy R8. It’s selling for $1,899 USD.


Disclaimer: The sample of the HiBy R8 was sent to us free of charge for this review. HiBy Music is not in any way related to Headfonia.

HiBy (Music)

I don’t think HiBy needs an introduction anymore after having launched multiple successful portable players with the award winning R3, the excellent R6- series and more.

However, in case you completely missed that, I’ll repeat what Berkhan had to say about HiBy when he reviewed the R6 DAP:

HiBy music specializes in research, development and sales of high quality portable audio products. They have professional R&D staff and they also have quite a good history in the portable audio field. They have partnerships with brands like Cayin, Shanling and Questyle. As far as I know they make the software of those devices or at least give software support to them.

HiBy Music’s mottos are “Make Music More Musical” & “Ease of Use is not Optional”

Also, their HiBy Music application for smartphones has hundreds of thousands of users all over the world, it’s not hard to see they have a good reputation and know-how about audio processing and software integration.

Then, before checking out this R8 review, make sure you read up on the previous reviews first:

R3: https://www.headfonia.com/review-hiby-audio-r3/

R3 Pro: https://www.headfonia.com/hiby-r3-pro-review/

R5: https://www.headfonia.com/hiby-r5-review/

R6: https://www.headfonia.com/review-hiby-r6/

R6 Pro: https://www.headfonia.com/review-hiby-r6-pro/

Especially, the HiBy R6 Pro review, as it has won our best gear award and is also featured on our Recommended Gear list. Up to know HiBy mostly had they eye on the entry and mid-fi segment, but with their newest player they are aiming much higher. The HiBy R8 is their latest flagship Android DAP, and it’s what we’re looking at today. Let’s get started.

HiBy R8

A brand new TOTL portable player, that’s exactly what the R8 is. With this DAP HiBy enters the high-end segment, and they hope to give the competition a tough time. We’ll soon find out if they succeeded. Keep reading.

HiBy R8 Takes You to the Live Symphony

Let’s check out the main features:

– Extra special power supply: The HiBy R8 is backed by back a 38Wh custom ATL battery, with high power density and low internal resistance, capable of continuous 10000mA current output. A new Turbo Mode allows the power output to be adjusted. Turn on Turbo mode to increase power supply voltage on hardware level and change the headphone amp’s working conditions, to drive over-ear headphones with more power and dynamic range. In normal mode we have max 12W output, in Turbo Mode 16W. Of course your battery will deplete much faster in using TM. A full quick charge takes 5 hours.

HiBy R8

– Luxurious audio loadout: 4 ELNA SILMIC capacitors, 10 tantalum capacitors (gold/hand-picked), 18 high ripple-suppression-ratio LDO regulators, 35 Panasonic Hi-Polymer POSCAPs.

– Custom designed op-amps: Not found on any other player according to HiBy — HiBy is directly involved in the research and design of the model OP02 opamps used in the HiBy R8.

– Femtosecond precision: Dual oscillators locked to 45.1584MHz and 49.152MHz with femtosecond precision reduces phase noise to under -159dBc/Hz @ 1kHz offset.

– Dual AK4497 DACs: The HiBy R8 comes equipped with Dual AK4497 DACs, to ensure powerful decoding and highly efficient. Paired with in-house designed audio pipeline, easily handles DSD512 and 32bit / 768kHz PCM. Most of the competitors use the newer AK4499 chip, just fyi.

– 3.5mm and 4.4mm separate line and headphone outs (4 ports). Over 1000mW in power drives all over-ear large-scale headphones with ease.

– 4G connectivity: With 4G connectivity you can stream music wherever you are. The R8 supports 4G data, not voice calls or SMS. It’s important to mention that not all R8’s have this feature, the stainless steel version with 4G function is limited in China, Hong Kong and Japan. Our review sample has 64gb internal memory and doesn’t feature a sim-card slot.

– Operating system: The HiBy R8 sports the Snapdragon 660 SoC for driving a modern Android operating system with speed and stability. Based on Android 9 it allows the HiBy R8 to obtain GMS certification. You’ll be downloading apps directly from Google Play.

HiBy R8

– MQA support: You like it or you don’t but the HiBy R8 includes MQA support (at 16x).

– Wireless: The HiBy R8 will feature 2.4/5GHz dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Two-way Bluetooth (transmit and receive audio) and UAT high quality Bluetooth codec. The HiBy R8 supports music transfer by HiByLink, DLNA, Airplay and Wi-Fi.

– Screen: straight-edged design exuding power and confidence. Featuring a 1080p full HD display, 5.5” 5gen corning gorilla glass, 1920×1080, 400ppi, 16:9, oleophobic. Supports double-tap to wake and multiple finger gestures. In hand, the screen is seriously impressive if you ask me.

– The R8 comes with 4gB RAM and depending on the models sports 54 or 128GB internal storage. There is only one micro-SD card slot and you can expend the external storage up to 2TB.

The reference R8 is selling for $1,899 USD, directly from the HiBy store.

Those not interested in the specs can click here and go to the next page already.

Full Specifications

Model HiBy R8
Operating System Android 9.0
CPU Model Snapdragon 660
CPU Architecture Kryo260 Octa-core
CPU Max Frequency 2.2 GHz
GPU Adreno 512
DAC AKM AK4497 x 2
Wi-Fi Support 2.4GHz, 5GHz
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
Display Size 5.5 inches
Colors 16 million true color
Topology IPS
Resolution 1920*1080
PPI 400
Touchscreen Multitouch
Internal Storage 64GB
External Storage Up tp 2TB + via 1 micro SD card
Colors Aluminium alloy black
Dimensions 143*81*20 mm
Power Supply 5V⎓2A / 9V⎓2A
Battery 10000mAh/3.8V
Charge time <5H (0%-100%)
Firmware Update OTA
Text Size Adjustable
Third Party Apps Unrestricted access via Google Play and apk download

Click here or use the jumps below to go the the second page of the article.

4.1/5 - (124 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply August 18, 2020

    Tyrell Dixon

    Considering sp2000 and Sony flagships are $2,000 (aud ) more i guess it makes sense that it’s not as good.But still seems to offer good value for money and pretty much no competition when it comes to full android.

    • Reply August 18, 2020


      That’s the good summary

  • Reply August 18, 2020


    Nice review but your page is clottered of ads and banners making the reading experience less peasant.

    • Reply August 18, 2020


      Thanks. It’s a new media provider so we’re still fine tuning this. It does seem like the side ad for resolution 1024 and under is causing issues. Good thing is you can close the add of course. thanks for the feedback

  • Reply August 18, 2020


    The constant page refresh (to load even more ads?) makes it very annoying to read Headphonia. This used to one of my favorite sites (:

    • Reply August 19, 2020


      There shouldn’t be any page refreshes. The ads might reload but you should stay in the exact same position you were reading. What device/resolution is this happening with? Thanks

  • Reply August 20, 2020


    Thanks for your review. However I expected the 4g network feature as other webzine’s review, but your review seems to have removed it from the manufacturer even higher price ($1819 -> 1899). I’m a little disappointed with Hiby.

    • Reply August 20, 2020


      Our worldwide version didn’t have the 4G feature, so we can’t report about it

  • Reply August 24, 2020


    Any thoughts on how the HiBy R8 stacks up against the AK SE200? Right now I’m debating between the Cayin N6ii w/ E02, AK SE200 and HiBy R8 to pair up with a Solaris SE.

    • Reply August 24, 2020


      The SE200 hasn’t arrived yet and it’s going to Matty in Australia. So it will be hard comparing these two. But the Cayin N6ii/E02 and the R8 are both excellent.

  • Reply September 3, 2020


    Without a doubt, even if it is something old, I go for the Sony, a guarantee of quality. all these chinese daps are unstable and have a lot of bugs. I don’t understand how in these reviews they never talk about those problems

  • Reply September 5, 2020


    Not a single bug, crash or hang up was experienced so far….

  • Reply September 11, 2020


    Why no comparison to Sony 507?

    Banner ad placement (too many) and auto-rotation of the side banners makes reading here unbearable.

    • Reply September 12, 2020


      Cause there are no Sony samples available

  • Reply September 13, 2020


    I don’t know why you hate the M15.
    I have the SE100, P2mkii and Qp2r, and the M15 is better in musicality.

    • Reply September 13, 2020


      I have never said I hated the M15, to me it’s just could have been better. like the R8.

  • Reply September 16, 2020

    Mark H

    Do you think the R8 would pair well with an IEM that has thick mids like the Empire Ears Phantom?

  • Reply December 21, 2020


    Would you consider this an upgrade from DX220+AMP9 ?
    currently using UM MEST / U18T.

    Awesome review by the way =)

  • Reply October 20, 2021


    I have se180 sem1 and seems kinda lack bit of body using 64 audio nio.

    Im thinking of changing to R6 2020 or R8 since it has smoother operational OS, but kinda mixed feelings if i just buy a sem2 for my se180.
    I feel hiby r8 much more transportable kind of smaller and less weight.

    Nobody sells a case for Se180 in here, and even with case i still feel se180 is too heavy for me and withouth a case it fckin scary to bring se180 to office and other place.

    Does r8 plays good anisong, jpop, and kpop? I love bass punchier and bodler mid body.
    Which one should i get? N6ii e02 / R6 2020 / R8 / sem2?

  • Reply August 28, 2023


    I’m so excited to try this! I’ve been wanting to get a good pair of headphones for a while now.

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