Review: HiBy R6 PRO – Move over

Versatility

 

The R6 PRO stands out here as it’s a do-it-all DAP. You get:

– USB DAC

– Line-OUT

– Coax out

– High quality BlueTooth

– Hiby Music / Link

– DLNA Playback

– APK loading (anything so not only Tidal and Spotify)

– Internet browser

– Album Art and Lyrics download

Personally I’ve been having some issues using it on my main laptop as a USB DAC. The driver needed for tit o work isn’t correctly digitally signed and so you need to disable that in your Windows settings. Unfortunately my company laptop doesn’t allow me to do so and so I’m blocked. While you in theory can use the R6 PRO as USB DAC? You need to realize it couldn’t just be just plug and play for you.

The Line-Out is something I use all the time in my second office and you can use the R6 PRO in combination with any amp you want. The Coaxial out put is the only digital output and the R6 PRO comes supplied with a 3.5MM to RCA cable. That means you’ll need a special aftermarket cable if you want to connect it to the Mojo or Hugo2 or any DAC without the good old RCA coaxial input.

If you’re a fan of wireless connection than the R6 PRO couldn’t please you more as all the latest technologies are incorporated and you have the HiBy Link software on top of that.

I tend to use DLNA with many of my DAPs at home as it allows me to access my entire collection without having to transfer all the music to the internal collection or buy a whole series of MicroSD cards. Just look for my music server on the network and bingo. It’s excellent. Another great thing is that HiBy allows you to install any APK file you want. Getting Spotify and Tidal only takes a few seconds and you can even load games of a scrobbler on it if you feel like it. And yes, you can do Tidal offline!

The only thing that HiBy didn’t make available it USB OTG where you can hook up the R6 PRO to an external HDD or even another DAP (as AK allows). But for me personally that is more than ok as you have DLNA and Tidal/Spotify and you can even add songs over Wi-Fi (as you can see in the menu structure).

R6 PRO Sound

First things first: the noise level. Some have been saying the R6 PRO is very noise but I can’t agree to that really. With my most sensitive monitors there is some very slight hiss audible at extremely low volumes no one listens to. As a matter of fact if you play your music at a very normal and low volume you won’t even notice a single thing. It’s like AK noise level, very very good. Another important thing is that the PRO is sensitive to radio interference. Keep your phone too close and you’ll know right away as the bleeps and blops are everywhere.s Now that we’ve discussed that, let’s get on with the rest.

The R6 PRO has a neutral tuning and character but at the same time it in balanced mode gives bass and mids a full body with a more smooth and warm than neutral delivery. No you don’t get the typical transparency and analytic sound from the SP1000 from both outputs but you get dynamics, good detail and precision. The R6 PRO in balanced mode is situated to the warmer side of neutral. There’s no denying the smoother, softer delivery of the R6 PRO in balanced config and the musicality factor there is very high. In single ended mode you get a neutral R6 PRO with the exemplary balance and linearity.

I love the overall stereo image, left/right balance and positioning when listening to the R6 PRO. No it’s not as perfect or precise as with a high end DAPs but it’s very good for its price point.

Balanced vs Single Ended

With some DAPs there’s only little difference between both implementations but with the R6 PRO the difference in sound is remarkable if you ask me. Most of the time I prefer DAP’s balanced output and it’s no different for the R6 PRO, it just sounds better.

With the single ended output you get the most neutral performance of both outputs and you get a precise sound where bass, mids and treble are linear and balanced. Bass impact as well as the bass and mid body is neutral. This results in somewhat more forward sounding vocals and upper treble. Treble itself is clean and precise but not the most energetic. So it is clear that the single output is rather neutral and flat, yet speedy and that might completely be your thing, but to me it sounds a tad lifeless to be honest. Especially when comparing it to AK mid range DAPs and the Fiio players.

Things completely change when you switch to the balanced output and there you get bigger/more impact and fuller body in both bass and mids. The speed and attack stay the same but there’s an improvement in decay and separation. In balanced mode you get a smoother, thicker sound which also is more spacious, and that makes the voices blend in more compared to the single ended output. Sound stage width and depth improve in balanced mode and you get excellent layering together with that. The whole presentation feels more natural/real, more energetic and more powerful. The detail level and musicality factor are very high but the sound signature for sure is more to the warmer and smoother side here.

Classics

So the bass in single ended mode is flat and neutral, yet fast and precise. Bass has good depth and is tight. The layering is good but not as good as in balanced mode. In balanced mode you get bigger body and impact but bass also reaches lower with better sub bass and improved layering. The speed is still excellent and many of you will love this bass, though it can’t really be called neutral anymore.

In SE mode the mids are like the bass: flatter and neutral/light. The separation and speed are excellent and the precision is good. The voices, as I mentioned earlier, will sound more upfront but not in a wrong way at all. In balanced mode bass body becomes thicker but at he same time the spaciousness, separation and extension improves. Layering is also excellent and the mids sound deeper in balanced mode. Vocals blend in more and sound more natural. Yes, the presentation is soft, smooth and to the warmer side, but it’s musical and so much fun. The nice thing here is that the R6 PRO never goes over the top, keeping everything well controlled and within warmth and smoothness limits.

Treble in SE is good but as expected it is flatter and sits perfect with the lighter bass and mid section. It’s good but it doesn’t draw any specific attention to it and it doesn’t excel. In balanced mode the treble really comes alive and you get energetic highs with great extension and a more spacious presentation. Together with the bass and mids they really elevate the whole experience and energize your music. Treble gets bigger body but better dynamics and as a result it’s more fun to listen to.

The musicality factor just is higher with the balanced output but that doesn’t mean the single ended output is no good. If you’re a precise, flat and neutral signature is your thing, then you’ll probably love it. Either way, I’m really impressed with the performance of the R6 PRO in regards to its sound and to me it punches above its price point, especially the balanced output.

Even more on Sound on the last page of this review, CLICK HERE or below

Review: HiBy R6 PRO – Move over
4.3 (86.86%) 35 vote[s]

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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.

17 Comments

  • Reply February 7, 2019

    Wills Chiu

    Hi Lieven, happy chinese new year!
    I notice that the original r6 has a (releatively) high output independence (10 ohms…?) which may not be ideal for some monitors. Is that still the case in the new hiby?

  • Reply February 7, 2019

    KITAD

    Hi which sound o you think is better? HibY R6 Pro or the DX150 with amp8?

    • Reply February 7, 2019

      Lieven

      I haven’t listened to that exact setup but I’m not the biggest iBasso DAP user. Nano is our iBasso DAP expert but he doesn’t have the R6PRO. Sorry

      • Reply February 7, 2019

        KITAD

        How does it compare to sony’s WM1A dap?

        • Reply February 20, 2019

          ED TAUER

          I saw your comment on the R6Pro vs 1Z, but not comparing it to the 1A. The 1Z is out of my price range. Thoughts on the R6Pro vs WM1A?

  • Reply February 8, 2019

    Ryan Eagon

    How’s the sound compared to WM1Z? I’m ln the market for a DAP with Wifi and streaming capabilities, looking for something that is warm sounding, good battery life, and decently fast. Cheers!

    • Reply February 11, 2019

      Lieven

      Technically the 1Z is of course ahead of the R6PRO, but the pro is most powerful.
      R6PRO is great for what you say but the quality isn’t up to 1Z levels

  • Reply February 14, 2019

    Tibor

    Hello hello, I am looking for a new dap and this one really caught my attention. But it´s impossible to test it first, could you compare it to ASTELL&KERN SR15 please?
    I´ve tried that one and really liked it, also your review was positive. My iems are Westone UM Pro 30. Didn´t try balanced though, but I may buy a cable in the future.
    Many thanks 🙂

  • Reply February 15, 2019

    Tibor

    I can see the comparison now….my bad.thx

  • Reply February 25, 2019

    Ismael lopez

    What is better? Fiio x7 ll or r6 pro?

  • Reply April 4, 2019

    Teddy Thamrin

    After demoing both the Fiio X7 II with AM3D module & HiBy R6 Pro, I ended up purchasing the R6 Pro

  • Reply April 17, 2019

    Alex

    In my opinion, the SR 15 just sounds terrible with Equalizer off (!!). With EQ on, a more or less neutral sound is possible and then, it’s a great (but small) player. I still use both players, the SR 15 and the Hiby R6 pro.

  • Reply April 21, 2019

    Ronald

    Hi.
    I have the Shure srh 1840 and am undecided between the Cowon P2, P6pro, or Wm1a.Which
    Which would you suggest, taking into account that my 1840 is more of a flat response.
    Which would drive the 1840 properly?
    Thanks

  • Reply April 27, 2019

    Steve

    Great review! Can you tell me exactly I would need to buy to connected my Audeze LCD-2’s to this player’s balanced connector? Very new to this thanks

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