Just like with the R8, this is a perfect unboxing experience. We have seen some great packaging from Astell & Kern, Hifiman, Effect Audio and many others, this is the new TOTL standard.
As the pictures show, the HiBy RS8 comes in a luxurious box with a suede interior. In the box there are 2 levels:
- Level one which holds the RS8 DAP
- Level two which holds the gorgeous leather case and both supplied cables
This like with the R8, is one of the most luxurious boxes. It’s also quite huge at the same time. But I don’t see why you would carry it around.
The player itself, like all modern TOTL DAPs, is large in size and gorgeous in design. The RS8 measures 143*82*22 mm, just barely larger than the previous R8, for your reference. The unit weighs 584g, an impressive figure. I’m amazed by the size and weight of modern flagship DAPs and I wonder where it’s going to go next.
With its titanium alloy, the RS8 looks and feels quite serious. When you consider the flashier designs from A&K, L&P, or Sony’s gold-plated WM1Z and WM1ZM2 models, it’s more of a subdued and under-the-radar type of design. But of course, when people actually see and hold it, they quickly realise it’s a special unit because of its massive size and considerable weight, not to mention the full titanium chassis.
The RS8 looks a bit flashier with its supplied leather case, which has a green/blueish colour. The special UI layout of HiBy, especially with the wallpaper and custom icons (Darwin theme), blends well with the case itself. Green/gold buttons, green wallpaper with a gold Darwin logo, and a gold HiBy plaque on the back of the case, all complete the design beautifully.
The RS8’s layout is simple but it works very well. On the front, you have the gorgeous 5.5” touch screen and on the back a titanium panel with the RS logo. On the left is the MicroSD slot and on the right the controls. Top-down: power – LED – back – pause – forward. The LED displays a different colour based on the audio format of the file in use. Blue means nothing is playing, yellow is 16/44, cyan is 24-bit audio and DSD. Charging is red in a pulsating cycle (5 in quick charge, 1 in normal charge mode).
On the top, you have the volume control and on the bottom, you have a 4.4mm balanced headphone out, 3.5mm headphone out, USB-C out, 3.5mm Line Out and the 4.4mm balanced LO.
Accessories & Price
Accessory-wise we this time get:
- Luxurious (big) storage box
- Leather case
- USB-C cable
- USB-C to Coaxial cable
The leather case with the fully open back side is very nice. It looks luxurious, especially on the backside. The exposed back looks cool and it actually helps to hold the device a bit more securely, as the device itself is quite heavy and big.
The HiBy RS8, as a top-end audio player, doesn’t come cheap. It is priced at $3,299 USD. The pricing indicates the ambition HiBy has to compete with the big boys. For comparison, the new A&K SP3000 is selling for $3,699 USD, and the Sony WM1ZM2 is going for around $3,600 USD. The Cayin N8II has a similar asking price of $3,499 USD. So in comparison, the RS8’s asking price fits the standard prices among TOTL DAPs of today.
HIBY CR08 Dock
With the RS8, Hiby also announced a new docking device for its flagship player. This device is for the ones who’d like to use the RS8 with their home stereo systems. It provides 5 different output modes: 3.5mm line out, RCA stereo, Coax digital, 4.4 BAL LO, XLR Balanced, and Optical. You also get a USB DAC with USB OTG storage expansion.
The dock has two cooling fans and other cooling elements such as copper and silicon panels inside. That’s handy if you’re going to use the device with high-gain, Class A, and Turbo Mode. It can get a bit hot with those settings combined, so the dock might be useful for long listening sessions. The dock also has a magnetic panel, to keep the RS8 in place and prevent it from falling off. You can also connect external storage devices to the USB 3.0 input. The dock also offers a panel for cable management.
I think the logic behind this device is that you place the RS8 to the dock in a horizontal position, and connect it to your home/desktop system, to use it as a full desktop device all in one. You can use the HibyLink feature to control it from your smartphone remotely.
Firmware / User Interface / Usability / HiBy Software
The firmware of the review sample is the 1.10 version. Working with the HiBy RS8 is incredibly easy as it’s an Android experience. Turning the player on and off is easy and it does it fast. If you’ve ever worked with an Android-based DAP or phone, then you will have no issues working with the RS8.
The hardware controls are also perfectly placed and navigating the RS8 with the controls is a pleasure. All-in-all the RS8 is delivering a flawless and smooth experience. The volume wheel is also another highlight. It has the most optimum resistance and smoothness together, so it’s a joy setting the volume to a desired level. Certainly a big upgrade over the R6 series in that regard.
There are some minor bugs, two of them to be exact. The volume wheel direction setting works when you first change it, but after some time, the wheel rotation setting returns itself to the previous setting. I’m used to doing it anti-clockwise, so that’s one minor issue. Another one is that sometimes the play/skip/previous buttons don’t work when the screen is off. Other than these two issues, I haven’t had any problems with the software.
As it’s Android, you can download and install your favourite apps such as Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal. The RS8 naturally comes with the HiBy Music app preinstalled. We previously have already covered the HiBy app, so we won’t go into detail anymore on that. Check out the other HiBy reviews in case you’re not familiar with the app.
Battery-wise the RS8’s massive 1200mAh battery supplies you with plenty of listening time. I haven’t tested the battery in detail, but in my experience, it’s been strong. It depends on your screen usage, streaming, etc. Fully charging the RS8 goes fast with quick charge.
Hiby RS8 + EE Odin +satin audio zeus 8 braid : killer combination