R6 PRO vs R6
HiBy of course knew the fist questions about the R6 PRO would all be about what is different between the regular and PRO version and so they have created a very clear overview on their product page.
As you can see the most important differences are in:
– the hardware (I/V, LPF AMP),
– the dimensions/weight,
– the balanced output socket,
– the gain selection,
– the USB DAC performance,
– the extra tone adjustment,
– the power output in both Single Ended as well as Balanced Mode.
The PRO looking at the numbers also seems to score a little less regarding noise, but we’ll get back to that specific point later.
Price & Accessories
The estimated sales price of the R6 PRO is $799USD. That makes it $200USD more expensive than the stainless steel version of the regular R6 and even $300USD more expensive than the regular R6. Fyi, the R3 nowadays is selling for only $199. A steal. As you can see when browsing to their store front, the R6 PRO is “Sold Out”, but they basically mean the R6 PRO is notavailable yet.
Besides the upgrades described above you for this price get a nice, yet simple box and the following accessories:
– a micro SD Pin to open the MicroSD slot,
– a plastic cheap and well, ugly, case (I haven’t used it. They really should supply a nice (p)leather one at this price point)
– extra screen savers,
– a manual,
– a beautiful USB cable,
– an even more impressive Coax cable/adapter
Accessory-wise the R6 PRO gets a thumbs up and if there had been a qualitative case in the box it would get two thumbs up. A missed opportunity if you ask me.
R6 PRO Design & Build quality
The two previous HiBy DAPs were great in both design and build quality and it of course is no different with the new TOTL model.
I absolutely love stainless steel DAPs and amps but this R6 PRO simply feels the best with a smooth and soft Stainless steel body and gorgeous gorilla glass on both sides. The buttons are perfectly incorporated in the R6 PRO’s body and the screen sits perfectly flush and seamless in the DAP’s body.
As you know I like the design of the Astell&Kern DAPs and the SP1000 is my favorite player of their line-up. That SP1000 and this R6 PRO both have a stainless steel body but they couldn’t look and feel anymore different. The AK’s design might be more unique and hip where the R6 PRO looks rather regular but the feel of the new HiBy is so much better. With its soft feel, rounded corners and more recessed buttons, the R6 PRO easily is the most sexy looking and feeling DAP in my collection.
The new R6 PRO measures 119,8 x 66.96 x 15.7mm making it perfectly normal and very usable in size. The R6 PRO is perfectly pocketable, can be controlled one-handed and without looking, and weighs only 297g on my kitchen scale.
I’m (again) impressed with HiBy’s design and build quality. It doesn’t get much better than this for me: 10/10
R6 PRO Lay-out
“Simple, handy and clean” is how I would describe the R6 PRO’s lay-out.
On the front you have the very nice 4.2” screen with a very high screen to body ratio. On the left side we have the MicroSD slot and both the volume buttons. On the right side we find 4 buttons from top to bottom: Power/screen, previous song, play/pause, next song.
On the bottom of the player you’ll only find the USB-C port in the middle as all the other outputs can be found on top. There we from left to right have the 3.5mm Line-Out and SPDIF output (menu selectable), the 3.5mm single ended output and the 4.4mm balanced output.
It’s simple, it nice and it works perfectly, even with one hand and even without taking the player out of your pocket.
R6 PRO Memory & Battery
Memory wise we can see this still is a Mid-Fi player as it comes with only 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal story. The high-end units score much better here but you can use a 512GB MicroSD.
Battery-wise HiBy chose to use a huge 4000mAh battery which quick charges for 70% in only 60 minutes. Play-time wise you in theory are supposed to get 12h in single-ended mode and 8h in balanced mode, both at @32Ω. In reality I can’t manage to get this performance out of the R6 PRO but the nice thing here is that it charges really quick.
I feel that new DAPs should be able to do 8 to 10h minimum under any circumstance, so the R6 PRO could score a bit better in this regard but it is quite powerful and double as powerful as the regular R6, it’s fast and has a gorgeous screen, so it’s not that you don’t get anything in return.
R6 PRO Usability & Features
Basically you get all the same amazing features as with the R6 and R3 and as said in the first paragraphs, the R6 PRO is a joy to use. I’ll just mention a few of the points that mean most to me instead of repeating myself over and over again.
While almost all DAPs nowadays offer the possibility to set the volume both by using the buttons as well as on the screen, I had a few bad experiences turning the volume all the way up accidentally. I think the reason is because the touch screen is so incredibly responsive. That’s a really good thing, but do be careful is all I can say.
I never get DAP companies who don’t include a search function in their software but of course HiBy has done so. Using the HiBy (software) is a joy: it does everything, it’s all logic and it works it with good speed. It’s a complete solution and it’s no wonder other DAP and phone companies want the HiBy player software. In the R6 PRO the Oreo Android and HiBy software work perfectly together. Lovely.
When connected to the internet the R6 PRO can also look for album art and lyrics automatically. It’s another feature I really love but for my collection it doesn’t always seem to work. Sure it depends on tags and such but I often don’t find the album art. The lyrics are more easy to find but it’s not a 100% success rate either. Still, a great feature. IF there is no art work to be found online or on your local storage then the R6 PRO will display a…. turntable! Nice but not logic for a digital player.
The screen…. Just waw. Everyone knows it already but it’s so nice in regards to feel, colours and responsiveness. But it isn’t all good, there’s some bad as well, though that’s relative. First of all there are audible clicks when the chip has to decoded different/higher bitrate and bit depth. It’s not the only new player still doing this though, the new Lotoo Touch is showing the same thing and it’s driving Linus crazy.
And then there’s the power. While I welcome the extra power – it’s more than double as powerful as the original R6 – it unfortunately results in large increasing volume steps. That can be an issue with sensitive gear and for several of my monitors the volume is ether too high or too low. It’s a bit annoying and unfortunately there’s no setting to change the increase/decrease “amplitude” like with the Cayin N8.
And lastly, the R6 PRO gets a bit warm when it’s in use. It doesn’t become as warm as the ColorFly U8 but it feels warmer than the whole AK range just to give you an idea. I’d say it’s more or less at the same level as the Cayin N8, so it’s warmer than average.
It continues on Page Three of this article, it’s just one click away