Disclaimer: Hidizs sent us the Hidizs AP60 for review free of charge. The unit doesn’t need to be returned and Hidizs isn’t a site advertiser.
Hidizs is a Chinese company that has been focusing on portable players and so far they have launched two portable players with the AP100 and the AP60. Hidizs has a new player on the way with the AP200 which will be their flagship DAP for a while.
“Hidizs’s ambitious to create the highest quality atmosphere of music appreciation for the good of the users, so as to purify and cleanse their spirit with high quality and Hi-Fi sound”
Hidizs was founded in 2009, a time when not a lot of portable players were on the market. In order to deliver something better for the consumer a group of audio fans and technicians gathered and founded the brand. In 2014 their first Hidizs AP100 player was introduced at CES in Vegas and now, 3 years later, Hidizs is still going strong. Under the Kaitai Technology company, Hidizs has evolved as a company and their goal is to deliver portable players with a perfect and flawless quality that look stunning.
If you want to read more about the Hidizs origin and philosophy, click HERE. It’s a bit hard to read the English translated version of their About Us, but you’ll get the drift. Edit: they also have an English website here: www.hidizs.net
The AP60 is the little brother in Hidizs’ line-up, it’s a completely new DAP which is available for around $89.99USD on Amazon and it is Hidizs’ 2nd DAP (ES10 not taken into account). The Hidizs moto is: “Relish Music, beauty in the details” but it isn’t shown on the screen when the player is booting or shutting down. I do like the design of their logo though:
Like with almost all personal audio gear, there is a detailed Hidizs AP60 thread on Headfi, you can go there by clicking HERE. If there’s anything you want to know or ask about the AP60, it for sure is the place to go. Hidizs provides one year of free replacement and two years of free maintenance on all of their products.
The Hidizs AP60: Inside, Looks and more
This section is going to be comprehensive as there is so much to say about the Hidizs AP60 DAP.
First thing you’ll say when opening the box the AP60 came in is: “Waw, that thing is tiny!” It measures only 70 x 42 x 14 mm, making it the smallest portable player in my collection, not taking into account the iPod Nano. The Entry level Hidizs AP60 is extremely pocketable and with its weight of only 50g, it completely disappears whatever you’re doing while you’re listening to your music. This just might be the most comfortable high res playing DAP ever. For your memory, the Cayin N3 weighs double.
Just going on the weight you wouldn’t think so but he Hidizs AP60 is very well built. No sharp edges, a super sexy design, and a paint job to die for. The Hidizs AP60 is available in a whole bunch of colors but I picked the blue one. They actually also have a Hello Kitty version and a whole series of Marvel branded units.
The AP60 is made of resin alloy materials and has a car paint finish with a UV curable varnish. It doesn’t only look good, but it feels good too. Those of you who read my Cayin N3 review surely remember me saying it has a plastic feel and that I’m not a fan of its design. Well, I’m a big fan the AP60’s design. It’s a gorgeous little thing and while it doesn’t feel like Astell&Kern aluminum, it does feel more metalish than the N3 does. Of course with the $89 price this entry level AP60 is going for, the materials used are not of the same level as the high end DAPs. But I really like how the AP60 feels, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t get a case to put the AP60 in so I’ve been using it without one and so far it doesn’t show any signs of wear and everything still works perfectly. It does seem like there are leather cases for the AP60 though, but it doesn’t come delivered stock.
The mini AP60 features a 2 inch 320 x 240 non touch screen and while that is very small, Hidizs managed to get all the relevant information visible on the screen by using a right to left scrolling bar displaying the band, album, track, file type and bit rate/depth. The AP60’s screen viewing angles and sharpness are very good. In fact, because of the colors and menu structure used, the Hidizs AP60 outperforms the N3 screen wise (and usability wise). Just like the N3, the AP60 supports Bluetooth 4.0 and APT-X lossless transmission. You can either connect the AP60 to a wireless head/earphone or you can use the AP60 as a DAC/AMP connected to your source (like your phone) by Bluetooth. The AP60 also offers USB OTG and it of course can serve as USB-DAC for your computer or mobile device (24/192 and DSD64/128). More on that later in the section on “Versatility”
The tiny AP60 comes with a double gain control which is awesome, although I haven’t felt the need to switch to high gain just yet. I haven’t used it with any full sized high end headphones though, only earphones.
Lay-out & feel
The tiny AP60 is easy to control but as it is so small it is just a tad more difficult to operate than the N3. Everything can still be done with one hand tough and because of the absence of any buttons on the right side of the player there is no possibility to push the left buttons when controlling the player.
As said, I absolutely love the design and feel of the Hidizs AP60, the car paint gives it a very sexy look. But taste of course is a personal thing. The use of buttons has been reduced to a minimum and it really is back to basics for what this is concerned. On the right side of the AP60 you simply won’t find any buttons, only the MicroSD slot at the bottom. The power, previous and next buttons are all located on the left side of the player. I’m also happy to report that the bottom button is the “next/up” button (Cayin mixed them up in the N3). On the bottom side of the player you from right to left have the micro USB-port and the 3.5mm headphone output. Do note that the AP60 doesn’t have an analog Line Out function. The micro USB port serves both as digital input as output. Like the N3, the AP60 doesn’t offer a balanced output but for $89 no one expected it to.
The front panel has a series of touch buttons. There is a next, previous, back, up, down, select and quick menu button which are all fairly close together. If you have thick fingers that might be a little annoying but I haven’t had any issues with them yet. The only thing keeps happening to me is that I accidentally push one of them when the screen hasn’t locked yet. Sometimes the front panel also seems to work when the screen is locked but I have no clue how that works. The back of the unit shows the gorgeous paint shop and the pretty Hidizs logo together with the certification logos. On top of the unit there is nothing to be found. The AP60 lay-out is pretty basic but it’s well build it simply works.
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