Hidizs DH80 Review

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Sound performances

For this review, I paired the Hidizs DH80 with the… AP80 Pro-X. To that, I added the Beyerdynamic DT700 Pro X, (one of my favorite headphones) and the lovely FiiO FA7S ( a great earphone that I happened to have under my hand.

As for the source, I filled a micro-SD with 16/44 and 24/96 FLAC files and took my phone as a wireless source, thanks to the two-way Bluetooth connection. Finally, I also plugged the DH80 to my computers, and pushed Spotify + Apple Music streams, to see how it behaves.

Overall signature

Ok, so does the DH80 makes a real difference paired with the AP80. Is it really better than going solo? Short answer… yes! And by quite a nice margin!

As usual, I began my listening session with The Spoils from Massive Attack, one of my favorite tracks, followed by The Chain from Fleetwood Mac, an all-time classic. 

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Out of the box, paired with the DT700 Pro X, the AP80 Pro-X offers a nice, flat, balanced signature with enough power to push the mighty drivers of the Beyer. And if the player was already impressive considering his size – even more through the 2.5mm output – packed with the Hidizs DH80, the difference is simply staggering.

The core remains the same. It’s fast and precise, at any level of volume, and the layering feels natural, with clean lows and sharp voices, even at low volume. Push higher and the player keeps on pushing micro-details, almost effortlessly. Or so I thought before I add the DH80, which completely blew my expectation.

Power. That sole word could easily define the DH80. When I had to put the volume level around 30 to drive the DT700 Pro X, with the DAC in the equation, I could easily reach the same sound pressure and even exceed it, at… 13-15 in low gain. That was no small feat and I didn’t expect the duo to perform this well, even just using the 3.5mm output.

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Digging deeper, I switched from the 3.5mm, to the 4.4mm, to see if that raises the bar even further. Fed with the usual audiophile tracklist (Eagles, Steely Dan, Jamiroquai) the small DAC did wonders with my FiiO FA7S and if the definition didn’t improve, the soundstage expanded, while textures seems more refined.

Paired with the Audeze LCD-X thanks to the Meze mini-XLR to 4.4mm Pentaconn, the difference was even more striking: better detail retrieval, wider soundstage, deep bass and a real overall improvement. Pan effects are delightful, with good depth, and the duo was able to scale with higher-end gear like the Audeze, or IEM such as my Shanling ME800. 

It doesn’t depend on your IEM/headphone, it just sounds better every time. That said, with very sensitive IEMs, you’ll have to be careful and for that use, I’d stick with the AP80 Pro-X, solely.

So yeah, it’s a very, very nice surprise!

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Tonality

Highs : flat but sharp. The Hidizs DH80is pure ESS: good extension, acute trebles and a lot of micro-details, with lot and lots of power. In this regard, If I had to choose one device to pair the player with, that would be the Shanling ME800 (a true gem) 

Track : Poly – Thylacine

Mids : excellent layering and dynamic. This was especially true with big cans, like the Beyerdynamic DT700 Pro X, as the sound pressure delivers superb vocals, when the track is well recorded. I was especially surprised by how well it sounded, paired with the Beyer, even compared to the xDuoo XD05 Plus, my reference portable DAC. A very nice setup for someone who wants a sub-$400 combo!

Track : Wanderer – Mogli

Lows : clean and tight. While the Hidzs AP80 Pro-X wasn’t for bass heads, paired with the DH80, this is a completely different beast.You might be surprised by how powerful kicks and deep bass, especially with IEM like the Shanling, or FiiO’s FD series. On Kaleo’s hit, the drum completely took me by surprise, and deeply resonated in my head, even after a few seconds.

Tracks : Way down we go – Kaleo

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Conclusion

Honestly, the Hidizs DH80 came as a massive surprise, in a tiny box. More than a good addition to the AP80 Pro-X, this is the PERFECT addition to the DAP, for anyone who needs a tiny power-house, at an affordable price. 

Even as a stand-alone, I found the DH80 to be quite potent, and I had a really good time using the DAC with my Macbook – even if for that use, I’d really suggest you to get the Hidizs DH80S. The only real drawback I could spot would be the flimsy connection with the AP80, but I’m sure there are a few workarounds, like a sticker, or some tape.

So, if you own an AP80 Pro-X, or aim to get one, you should definitively pick the DH80 too. Bravo Hidizs, you completely got me there!

4.4/5 - (112 votes)

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

2 Comments

  • Reply June 23, 2022

    David

    The price was so affordable it wasn’t worth mentioning, nor how it compares to any other similar product. Excellent!

    • Reply June 23, 2022

      Lieven

      Price is in the first sentence of the article. Excellent reading!

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