The Hidizs AP60II, tiny but talented…
After the success of AP60 first generation, Hidizs decided to launch the newest HiFi music player of the Hidizs family, the new AP60 II.
First of all, a big thanks to Hidizs for providing me a free sample of the Hidizs AP60II for this review. I am not affiliated with Hidizs beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
4. About Hidizs:
Hidizs was founded early in 2009 In order to produce some portable HiFi audio devices. In January 2014, Hidizs first portable HiFi audio player the AP100 was officially launch at CES, Les Vegas.
Purchase Link: https://penonaudio.com/hidizs-ap60-mkii-ep3-iem.html
Hidizs AP60II + EP3 IEM bundle is sold around 110,00 USD
5. Major Advantages over the first generation AP60:
The Hidizs AP60II has some major advantages over the first model and here is a list of these new features.
- New aluminum alloy body and 2.5D glass panel
- New Hiby Link Smartphone intelligent control
- New easy-to-use hidden-type mechanical buttons
- New UI and hardware design
- New 2.0″ IPS HD screen
- New clock function
- New production technique, better sound quality and more details.
6. Package and Accessories:
The device comes in a nice black card-box that gives you a nice first impression.
The box contains the following contents;
- Hidizs AP60II
- Matt transparent plastic protective case/cover
- Screen protectors
- Back glass protectors
- Micro USB cable
- Warranty card & quick start guide
7. Design, Buttons and Build Quality:
The first thing that I have notice about the Hidizs AP60II is the very small (almost tiny) and compact size. The main body (chassis) of the AP60II is made of aluminum and has a 2.5D glass back panel that looks and feels very nice.
On the front of the device are the 2.0’’ TFT screen and the navigation buttons.
2.0” TFT screen has a native resolution of 320x240pixel and is good enough for a device in this price category. The screen has enough brightness to be visible outdoors. The color reproduction is also above average.
O the front of the device is the so called hidden-type mechanical navigation button with four way navigation ability.
The usability of the mechanical navigation buttons is easy and without any problems. I also have no problems in blind operation.
The operations are done with the up/down and back/enter buttons. The left button is operating as back button in the menu section and for rewinding in the music menu.
The right navigation button is operating as enter button in the menu section and as play/pause and fast-forward command in the music menu. The up/down buttons are operating to move up and down in the main and submenus. These are also operating as next (down) and previous (up) buttons.
On the left side of the device are the power and volume up/down button. This volume button can be assigned as track changer when the screen is turned off. This feature is very useful when the device is in your pocket.
On the right side is the Micro SD card slot that supports up to 256 GB of storage files.
At the bottom are the 3.5mm headphone out and the Micro USB port that can be used for charging, storage expansion and digital out via OTG cable.
Model : AP60II
Screen : 2.0’’ TFT HD (320x240pixel)
CPU : X1000
Bluetooth : Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX lossless with support of Two-way transmission
DAC : Asahi Kasei AK4452VN
AMP : MAX97220A
Frequency Response : 20Hz – 20.000Hz (-0.5dB)
THD+N : 0.005%
SNR : > 109dB
DNR : > 105dB
Channel Separation : 106dB
Output : 3.5mm Single Ended
Output Power : 35mW@32 Ohm
Output Impedance : 0.1 Ohm
Gain Settings : Low & Gain
Expanded Memory : up to 256GB
Battery : 1000mAH
Battery Life : about 10-12 working hours
USB Port : Micro USB 2.0
Size : 75x42x14mm
The Hidizs AP60II shares some nice hardware specs for a budget friendly device. It has low output impedance of 0.1Ω and a good DAC chip under the hood with a quite powerful amplifier for such a tiny player. The mechanical buttons are also a nice upgrade over the first generation.
The device has no on board storage but supports both Micro SD and OTG storage options.
a) DAC Section:
Inside the Hidizs AP60II is an AK4452VN DAC chip of the company Asahi Kasei Microdevices (in short AKM).
The AK4452VN is a new generation of 32-bit DAC, with 8-channels that uses AKM’s Velvet Sound architecture that has been widely adopted by high-end audio companies. This technology realizes fine sound details with its low-distortion architecture in addition to 32-bit resolution digital filter processing.
The digital input supports up to 768 kHz PCM and 11.2 MHz DSD (Direct Stream Digital), suitable for high-resolution audio source playback.
b) AMP Section and Drivability:
The Hidizs AP60II has a MAX97220 amplifier of the company Maxim Integrated under the hood. The MAX97220 is a differential input DirectDrive® headphone amplifier. The power output of the AP60II is 35mW@32 Ohm according to official Hidizs specs. The max setting for the volume is 80.
You have to gain options these are Low and High. Low gain is loud enough for most IEM’s with an impedance of 32 Ohm. If you want a bit more juice, I would recommend using the device in High gain that drains additional battery. The high gain setting was able to drive my Audio-Technica ATH M50 to very loud levels at volume set to 60-65 (max volume is 80).
The Hidizs AP60II has no analog line out, but the USB port of the device has digital out capabilities. You can use the AP60II as USB DAC (up to 32bits/384KHz is supported), by connecting it to your PC via USB cable or you can use it as digital transport device by connecting it via OTG cable with a DAC, Smartphone or Tablet. The good thing is you don’t need to install any driver.
The connection to my Chord Mojo and my Smartphone works flawlessly and makes the Hidizs AP60II to a small and inexpensive USB transport device.
The OTG support gives the AP60II the extra ability to connect a USB mass storage like a USB Memory Stick to it and play the songs located in the storage device. The only thing you need to do is to select the Music browse menu and choose OTG.
The Hidizs AP60II supports Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX lossless and has a Two-way transmissionfunctionality. That means, I can connect my Smartphone, Tablet etc. with the AP60II via Bluetooth over the air and play my favorite song on online platforms like Tidal, Apple Music, Spotify etc. with it without the need of any third party application.
The two way transmission gives also the ability to pair a wireless Bluetooth Headphone/IEM etc. with the AP60II that is a missing feature that is missing on many higher priced devices.
d) Battery Life:
The Hidizs AP60II has a 1000mAH Li-ion battery should last according to Hidizs specifications approx 10-12 Hours. I have tested the device in high gain (volume level 45) and low gain (volume level 60) with Bluetooth off and 16bit/44kHz Flac files and the result was a playback time of approx. 10-10.5 Hours. This is a quite good result for such small player.
The AP60II is not a dead silent device, but I found the hissing level quite tolerable for a device in this price level.
10. Software and UI (User Interface):
The Hidizs AP60II has quite simple but fast and useful software under the hood. The device powers up in only 10-11 seconds and the first music library update of my 128 GB PNY micro SD card (approx 100 GB is full) took about 35-40 seconds.
The Hidizs AP60II supports also the Hiby Link Smartphone intelligent control, so that you can control the device over the smooth interface of your smartphone.
The Firmware upgrade is an easy process. But before you start any update please be sure that that the device has at least %50 of juice. Download the update file with the “file extension .upt” to your PC and put it on your microSD card. The next step is to go to System Settings and Press OK with the Enter button and wait until the update process is done.
The AP60II has a clock screen that shows us some quick information about the device like time, volume, battery state and the current playing song ID. The clock screen appears after every screen on action.
The device has 4 main and lots of submenus.
The Main Menus are Music Browse, Music Category, Music Setting and System Setting.
The Music Browse menu allows you to access the available (external) storage options like TF card and OTG.
Here you can choose any folder that stores music files and play the listed songs directly form this folder.
The Music Category is the menu where you can browse music through categories like Album, Artist, Genre, etc. or Recent played songs.
Under the Menu Music setting you can find user definable options like Gain, EQ, Play mode, Gapless, Max Volume etc.
The Settings menu is where you can find options like language, Bluetooth, USB Mode (DAC or Mass Storage) Brightness settings and Key functions.
The Playing Now window is where you can find player skin. The Player menu shows the Album Art and information’s like the time bar, file name, song duration, battery etc.
11. Equipments used for this review:
DAP&DAC’s : Hidizs AP60II, Chord Mojo, Shanling M1, Zishan Z2
IEM’s : Audeze iSine20, Dunu Flacon-C, HiFi BOY OS V3, TFZ TEQUILA1,
Earbuds : NiceHCK EBX, HiFi BOY Dream
Headphones : Audio-Technica ATH50M
12. Albums & tracks used for this review:
Casey Abrams – Robot Lovers (Tidal Hi-Fi via Bluetooth transmission)
Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Melody Gardot – Who Will Comfort Me (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (DSF)
Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi via Bluetooth transmission)
Metallica – The Black Album (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
Sebastian Ingrosso, Thommy Trash &John M. – Reload (Apple Musicl Hi-Fi via Bluetooth)
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
13. Supported Audio Formats:
The Hidizs AP60II supports most of the lossless audio formats including DSD (64 & 128)
Here is a full list of the supported formats:
DSD (DSF and DIFF – 64/128), FLAC, ALAC, APE, WAV, AAC, OGG, MP3, WMA
14. The Sound:
I have burn-in the device for approx. 100 hours before I wrote this review. The gain setting was on high and volume level was 40-45.
Please note that this is a low budget DAP and all my comments about the sound quality is in consideration of this price range.
Tonality / Bass / Mid / Treble / Soundstage & Imagine:
The Hidizs AP60II has a fairly balanced sound tuning, compared to many players in the same price range. The sound reproduction and tonality of the AP60II is warmer then in nature, with a small emphasis to the low and top end, towards the V Shaped sound signature.
The bass response of the AP60II is quite good and it has relative nice texture for this price range. They are only some speed problems in some bass heavy tracks. The bass, especially the midbass has more weight then the sub bass area.
The midrange is quite resolving and has nice texture and smoothness. Both male and female vocals sounding quite good.
The upper midrange sounds a little bit flat but this tuning is avoiding some common problems like upper midrange harshness.
The definition of the treble range is above average and there is a nice amount of refinement.
The upper treble area is well presented and has better control then many other players with a relative higher price tag (for example the Ibasso DX50 or the Sony A15).
The soundstage of the AP60II has a good sense of space and the separation is good for such a tiny player.
Comparison vs. Shanling M1:
The Shanling M1 is a nice small device same as the Hidizs AP60II. The built quality of both devices is great. The Shanling M1 is a bit shorter in size, but is wider than the AP60II; the thickness is almost the same.
The main difference is the navigation style. The M1 has a navigation wheel while the AP60II has this mechanical 4 way navigation button that is a bit easier to command than those of the Shanling.
Both devices have a simple and fast UI and lots of connection option like a two way Bluetooth transmission with Hiby Link support and USB DAC functionality.
The low end of the AP60II has the better presentation, with more response and better overall control. The M1’s low end is not as fast as those of the AP60II. There is also a control problem in bass heavy tracks that can cause sometimes to a muddy presentation.
The midrange of the M1 is more upfront, while the AP60II sounds a bit more recessed but with more sense of space. The Vocal presentation of both devices is quite good but the Hidizs AP60II has the upper hand for instrument separation and upper mid definition. The overall resolution is nearly identical, maybe a tad better with the AP60II.
The AP60II is the winner for the treble presentation (upper treble extension and brilliance). The M1’s treble range sound a bit rolled off and has some control and harshness problems especially with instrument like Cymbal, Piano or Violin.
The soundstage of the both is above average, but the AP60II has more depth and better the better imaging.
The Hidizs AP60II is a small player with great build and good sound quality that has lots of feature. This will make the AP60II to a nightmare for all competitors in the Budget-Fi market.
16. Pos and Cons:
+ Small and compact Design
+ Good sound quality
+ Two Way Bluetooth Sound Transmission
+ Simple and nice UI
– Small amount of hiss