HiBy R6 PRO II (GEN 2) Review
HiBy R6 PRO II (GEN 2) Review
HiBy is a well-known audio brand established in 2011 that is specialized in research, development, production and marketing of Portable HiFi Audio products such like DAP’s, USB & Bluetooth DAC/Amplifier’s, In-Ear Monitors and Accessories. Moreover, HiBy is also a highly experienced company in development of Software’s such like the HiBy Music application for Android & iOS devices and of course HiBy OS that is a widely used professional Portable Audio Operating Systems (OS).
I will now review the latest Digital Audio Player of the company for you, which is the brand new R6 PRO II (aka GEN 2) and the successor of the original R6 PRO (GEN 1).
The HiBy R6 PRO II is a device with a pretty unique design that has sports a gorgeous looking 5.9” 1080P Display on the top. The device features some impressive specs such like Flagship-Grade Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ DAC Chip setup, independent 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone output and line-output ports and a Class A/AB Discrete Amplifier Circuit Design that works in combination with the Two dedicated Crystal Oscillators.
Moreover, the R6 PRO II is equipped with Snapdragon’s pretty powerful and battery efficient SD665 Octa-Core SoC that is supported with 4GB of RAM + 64GB of RAM in order to get a fluid Open Android 12 OS experience. Other remarkable features are 16x MQA support, a Systemwide Bit-Perfect Architecture, HiByCast Remote Control, Bi-Directional Bluetooth Connectivity, High-Resolution PCM 32-Bit/1536kHz & Native DSD1024 Decoding and many more.
I would like to thank HiBy for providing me the R6 PRO II (GEN 2) Digital Audio Player. I am not affiliated with HiBy beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The MSRP price of the HiBy R6 PRO II is $749.00 USD, which makes it to a Digital Audio Player that has a pretty good value for your money with respect of its built quality, design and hardware & software features. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package & Accessories:
The HiBy R6 PRO II comes inside a pretty fancy looking square shaped box that sports some design elements of the device and company/ product related brandings on its surface.
The box of the contains the following items/accessories;
- 1x HiBy R6 PRO II Digital Audio Player
- 1x USB A to USB Type-C cable for file transfer and charging
- 2x PVC protectors one for the screen and one for the rear part (2x are pre-installed)
- 1x Premium PU Leather Case
- 1x USB Type A to Type-C converter adapter
- 1x Print Materials (User Manual, Warranty, etc.)
Design & Build Quality:
The new R6 PRO II is a very stylish looking device with an eye-catching design that features a gorgeous looking 5.9” 1080P IPS Touch display on the top that is integrated in to CNC machined aluminum metal housing.
The device is available with a finish in Purple and Midnight Black color options same like my review unit.
The R6 PRO II is has a solid appearance, which has dimensions of 147.5mm * 75.2mm * 15mm and a weight of approx 285grams.
The device looks pretty sleek and stunning with its bold asymmetrical lines for the chassis.
On the front of the R6 PRO II is the gorgeous looking 5.9” large 1080P IPS Touch Display with a resolution of 1080*2160 pixels that can compete with modern Smartphone’s. The screen is pretty bright and vivid, which is great while watching music videos and even your favorite show and movie online directly from the R6 PRO II.
The screen has rounded corners, which looks pretty nice while the pre installed PVC screen protector is another nice addition. The screen quite responsive and offers an adequate color reproduction (16.8 million), resolution and outdoor visibility that meets my expectation from a Digital Audio Player at this price level.
The rear surface is maybe the main attraction of the HiBy R6 PRO II that shows a pretty unique abstract artistic backplate design, which looks with one word “Amazing”, which reflects HiBy’s futuristic creation.
The aluminum part that has wave shaped channels that reflects the waves of the see. The HiBy branded plate on the other hand should be representing an Island in the see, while the carbon fiber pattern surface is the starry sky in the night.
The right surface of device features an LED status indicator, a power button and the volume rocker.
The left surface on the other hand sports a Single Micro SD card slot, the Play/Pause and Next and Previous track buttons.
At the bottom of the R6 PRO II are both the digital and the analog interfaces that do have a nice finish in gold color, which adds the device a premium look and feel.
Here are the 4.4mm Balanced & 3.5mm Single Ended Line outputs, the multifunctional USB Type-C digital interface and the 3.5mm SE Phone out & 4.4mm Balanced outputs. The USB Type-C port of the device is a multifunctional interface that supports Digital Out (USB DAC Mode) Data (File Transfers) and fast charging.
The overall build quality of the HiBy R6 PRO II is outstanding and I really love the feel of weight and the premium look of the device while holding it in my hand.
- Model : R6 PRO II (aka GEN 2)
- Operating System : Open Android 12 OS
- SoC : Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- CPU : 11nm 8-Core Kryo 260
- GPU : Adreno 610
- Display : 5.9” 1080P (1080*2160) IPS Touch Display
- RAM : 4GB LPDDR4x-1866
- ROM : 64GB
- MicroSD Support : 1x up to <2TB
- Screen : 5.9” 1080*2160 IPS Touch Display
- DAC : Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ
- Audio Sampling : PCM up to 32 Bit – 1536 kHz / Native DSD1024
- AMP : Class A/AB discrete
- OPAMP : 2x OPA1652
- Analog Out : 3.5mm SE/4.4.BAL Phone & Line Out
- Digital Out : USB Type-C & Coaxial digital out
- Phone Out : 3.5mm Single Ended / 4.4mm Balanced
- Line Out : 3.5mm Single Ended / 4.4mm Balanced
- Phone Out Power : 125mW @ 32 Ohm
- Balanced Out Power : 383mW @ 32 Ohm
- Frequency Response : 20 Hz – 90 kHz
- THD-N 3.5mm SE : 0.0015% Class AB Mode / 0.0009% Class A Mode
- THD-N 4.4mm BAL : 0.0015% Class AB Mode / 0.0009% Class A Mode
- Noise Floor : 2.1 (3.5mm SE) / 3.5 (4.4mm BAL)
- SNR : 117dB (3.5mm SE) / 119dB (4.4mm BAL)
- DNR : 118dB (3.5mm SE) / 119dB (4.4mm BAL)
- Bluetooth Standard : 5.0
- Bluetooth Two-Way : UAT/LDAC/APTX/APTX-HD/AAC/SBC
- Wi-Fi : Dual Band 2.4 GHz & 5.0 GHz
- Battery Capacity : 5000mAh PD2.0 18W Quick Charge
- Battery Life Class AB : 3.5mm PO up to 8 Hours / 4.4mm BAL up to 7 Hours
- Battery Life Class A : 3.5mm PO up to 6 Hours / 4.4mm BAL up to 5 Hours
- Dimensions : 147.45* 75.2 * 15mm
- Weight : 258g
Hardware & Software:
The HiBy R6 PRO II comes with some impressive hardware specs such like the Flagship-Grade Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ DAC Chip setup that supports 32-Bit/1536kHz and DSD1024 signals natively. It has a Class A/AB discrete Amplifier Circuit Design and Class A amp circuit is driven by 2x OPA1652 chips and 8 NXP bipolar transistors for zero crossover distortion and fast transient performance, comes with a decent Snapdragon 665 SoC that is assisted by 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM. The device is powered by a 5000mAh large battery with 18W fast charging support
A. Snapdragon 665 SoC & Storage:
The HiBy R6 PRO II is equipped with the Snapdragon 665 Octa-Core SoC that is produced with the 11nm CPU technology, which is more power efficient compared to the Snapdragon 660 that is produced with the older 14nm technology. The SD665 is equipped with the pretty capable Andreno 610 GPU, which is able to provide a smooth GUI (Graphical User Interface) for a Smartphone-Like user experience. The SoC is supported with 4GB of RAM that provides a pretty fluid UI with the latest Open Android 12 Operating System.
The HiBy R6 PRO II comes with an internal storage capacity of 64GB and supports a single Micro SD card slot for future storage expansion that supports a theoretical expansion capacity of up to 2TB.
B. DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) & Supported File Formats:
The HiBy R6 PRO II features a 2+1 flagship grade DAC architecture that is a combination of Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ DAC Chip of the Japanese company Asahi Kasei. The Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ DAC Chip setup of the R6 PRO II is able to handle PCM signals up to 32 Bit – 1536 kHz and supports Native DSD files up to DSD1024, which is quite impressive.
Another remarkable feature of the HiBy R6 PRO II is its System-Wide Bit-Perfect Audio Architecture that enables High-Resolution audio decoding on different applications as well.
Moreover, the HiBy R6 PRO II is a MQA certified device that supports the “Master Quality Authenticated” Audio standard and is able to unfold 16x MQA file, which is a welcome addition.
C. Class A / AB Discrete Amplification & Dual Pro Audio Crystal Oscillators:
The HiBy R6 PRO II features a Class A / AB discrete amplification design. The Class A mode is a high power circuit, while the Class AB mode offers a better battery life that you can easily switch with a dedicated software toggle can be accessed from the Top Bar shortcut or directly from the Audio Settings Menu. It has a Class A/AB discrete Amplifier Circuit Design and Class A amp circuit is driven by Dual OPA1652 chips and 8 NXP bipolar transistors for zero crossover distortion and fast transient performance. The sonic difference between the Class A and Class AB mode is pretty audible especially while listen to Sensitive In-Ear Monitors.
The HiBy R6 PRO II offers an output power of 125mW @ 32 Ohm over the 3.5mm Phone Out, while the 4.4mm Balanced output has specs of 383mW @ 32 Ohm. This looks not that impressive on paper, however it was a surprise for me that the device can handle full sized Planar Headphones like the HiFiMAN Edition XS, which proofs again that Number don’t match the performance you will get in reality.
Yes, the R6 PRO II is maybe not one of the most powerful portable DAP’s on the market, while it has pretty enough power, especially in Class A mode over the 4.4mm Balanced output.
Another remarkable feature of the R6 PRO II are the “Two dedicated Crystal Oscillators” at 45.158Mhz and 49.152Mhz for 1024x oversampling of 44.1kHz and 48kHz audio alike at femtosecond accuracy.
D. High-Resolution Wireless Connectivity & Direct Transfer Architecture:
The HiBy R6 PRO II is equipped with a Bluetooth Chip with BT 5.0 connectivity, which supports Hi-RES Wireless Audio. Supported are Hi-RES Wireless Audio codec’s such like HiBy’s own developed UAT and Sony’s LDAC codec, as well as more traditional BT codec’s such like AptX HD, AptX, AAC, SBC.
Another feature of the HiBY R6 PRO II is 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi connectivity for a reliable and stable wireless internet connection. It also has DLNA, Airplay, and WiFi audio transfer functions. Moreover, the device offers HiBy’s “Direct Transfer Architecture” in short DTA, a system-wide bit-perfect audio architecture, which provides Bit-Perfect Audio support across different applications on the device.
E. Battery Life:
The HiBy R6 PRO II (GEN2) comes with a 5000mAh battery that shows a battery duration that will strongly vary depending to the output (3.5mm SE or 4.4mm BAL) and Amplifier Mode (Class A / Class AB) of your choice. I have tested the battery life of the device under the following condition and file formats.
Testing Conditions: Volume: 60 / Gain: Low / File: FLAC 16 bit/44.1kHz / Screen: Off
- Class AB : 3.5mm PO approx 7.5 – 8 Hours / 4.4mm BAL approx 7 Hours
- Class A : 3.5mm PO approx 5.5 – 6 Hours / 4.4mm BAL approx 5 Hours
The R6 PRO II (GEN 2) supports 18W quick charge with the PD2.0 “Quick Charge” standard, which is a nice addition.
The HiBy R6 PRO II (GEN 2) is equipped with Qualcomm’s pretty efficient 8-core Snapdragon 665 SoC Chip that is assisted with 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM in order to provide a snappy User Interface. R6 PRO II is loaded with HiBy OS designed around an open Android 12 operating system. The Open Android OS ecosystem supports countless music and media application from the Google Play Store such like online music services such like Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, Apple Music and many more.
Another highlight of the R6 PRO II is the HiBy Music Application, which is my favorite player that I am using also on my Smartphone. It offers a very versatile and clean interface with lots of features.
My favorite software feature is the MSEB (Mage Sound 8-Ball) that is developed by the HiBy’s software team, which is a combination of multiple algorithms based on parametric equalizer (PEQ) and sound field adjustment (in short a DSP tool) that works pretty good If you like to play/transform the sound of your device.
The R6 PRO II comes with the companies own developed HiByCast application, which supports a “System wide Operation” of different functions on the device from a remote Smartphone or tablet. It includes operating and managing third-party applications as well.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- DAP’s : HiBy R6 PRO II (GEN 2), FiiO M11 Plus ESS
- IEM’s : Final B1, Westone MACH80, Meze RAI Penta, Moondrop Blessing 3
- Headphones : HiFiMAN Editon XS
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (TIDAL)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – Nobody Weird Like Me (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Rok Nardin – Berserks (Spotify)
- Bear McCreary – Valkyries “God of War OST” (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
As mentioned before, the HiBy R6 PRO II comes equipped with a very good implemented Flagship-Grade “Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ DAC Chip” setup that is assisted with a “Class A/AB Discrete Amplifier Circuit” design, which works in combination with “Two dedicated Crystal Oscillators”. The final result is impressive for what you will get for the price!
The R6 PRO II impressed me with its pretty rich, detailed and clean presentation with all IEMs and Headphones I have tested. The perfect mix of clarity, warmth and an extreme “clean/silent/hiss-free” background is one of the main highlight the R6 PRO II offers, which makes it easier to focus to the details that going on in the background of your music.
The HiBy R6 PRO II (aka GEN 2) review has been written after a burn-in process of approx 100+ hours. My sound impressions below are mainly based on my experiences over the 4.4mm Balanced output in Class A mode that offers sonic positive difference compared to the Class AB mode that was especially audible while listen to sensitive In-Ear Monitors.
I have paired the R6 PRO II with In-Ear Monitors like the Westone Audio MACH80, Meze Audio RAI Penta, Moondrop Blessing 3, Final Audio B1 and headphones such like the HiFiMAN Edition XS. I have deactivated any type of Sound Plug-in or MESB filter.
The lower frequency region of HiBy R6 PRO II stands out with is pretty natural and balanced response. The sense of control and resolution in both the subbass and midbass area is excellent thanks to the pretty capable Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ DAC Chip” setup. The subbass region reaches pretty low and has in general a decent level of depth and rumble, especially when paired with IEM’s like the Final B1 and Meze Audio RAI Penta. Bass passages in songs like Lorde’s “Royals” or Massive Attack’s “Angel” for example are reproduced in a pretty fast, control and extended manner.
The midbass area of the HiBy R6 PRO II is pretty controlled and shows also a good sense of clarity and tightness. Instruments like electro and acoustic guitars are produced with decent amount of body and natural sense of warmth, while toms and kick drums are pretty punchy and musical when I listen to the device with In-Ear Monitors such like the Meze Rai Penta and Final Audio B1.
The HiBy R6 PRO II shows a pretty natural, transparent and airy midrange tuning that shows just low amount of coloration, which is a result of a hint of warmness that is, produced form from the lower frequency area. Both female and male voices are reproduced in a pretty realistic and lively manner, especially when paired with the HiFiMAN Edition XS or the Moondrop Blessing 3.
The warmth that comes from the lower midrange area adds vocals and instruments such like strings a nice touch of body. Male vocals like Barry White, David Bowie or Elton John are shown with a great sense body and smoothness, while instruments like an acoustic guitar, contrabass or trumpet sounds pretty rich and textured in this area.
The HiBy R6 PRO II shows an upper midrange presentation that stands out with is excellent grade of clarity and resolution. This area sounds in general pretty natural and detailed while listen to female voices or to instruments such like pianos, violins or side flutes. Female voices from such like Sertap Erener, Adel, Edith Piaf or Aretha Franklin are represented in a quite emotional and lifelike manner, when I have paired the device with the Moondrop Blessing 3 or HiFiMAN Edition XS.
The HiBy R6 PRO II stands out in the treble region with its decent level of crispness and the above average level of extension that I can hear with all the equipment’s I have used during this review. The treble range is nicely highlighted without to sound sharp or to dry. The R6 PRO II shows a relative warmish tonality rather than a clinical/analytical one, which makes it ideal for a wide range of earphones or headphone.
The lower treble region is produced with a decent sense of presence and extension. The level of clarity and definition while listen to instruments like hi-hats, violins or pianos or human voices such like female vocals is great, which I have very enjoyed especially while listen to my open-back headphone the HiFiMAN Edition XS. String instruments in classical songs do sound quite natural and detailed, while pianos and cymbals in jazz music are shown with a natural tonality in this area.
The upper treble region is shows with a good level of brilliance and resolution. This area is able to create a nice grade of airiness and sparkle that is quite important while listen to strings and percussions. The sense of attack and extension while listen to violins to toms was quite impressive when paired with the Meze Audio RAI Penta or Moondrop Blessing 3.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The HiBy R6 PRO II has a quite expansive soundstage presentation that has a decent sense of airiness and space for a pretty precise separation and placement of instruments and vocals. The R6 PRO II offers an above average level of depth and wideness, while the height of the stage is on an adequate level.
HiBy R6 PRO II (GEN 2) versus FiiO M11 Plus (ESS Sabre):
Both the HiBy R6 PRO II and the FiiO M11 Plus ESS Sabre do offer a decent performance when it comes to the sound, especially for their price tag. The M11 Plus has a slightly warmer over tonality, while the R6 PRO II stands out with its transparency and dynamism that is audible from the lows to the highs.
Both the subbass and the midbass region of the FiiO M11 Plus has a small but audible amount of coloration, especially near the midbass area. The M11 Plus ESS shows slightly more depth and intensity in the lower frequency register, while it is missing some of the clarity, resolution and authority that the HiBy R6 PRO II offers. The R6 PRO II has also the slightly edge in terms subbass decay and overall bass layering in this register.
The midrange of the FiiO M11 Plus ESS sounds a bit warmer and fuller due to a small amount of coloration that is created in the lower midrange register. The HiBy R6 PRO II on the other hand shows a more natural, balanced and airy overall presentation, along with higher grade of clarity and resolution that is audible even at lower volume level, especially when you listen to it in Class A amplifier Mode.
Both the HiBy R6 PRO II and the FiiO M11 Plus ESS are pretty successful devices when it comes to the clarity, extension and detail retrieval in the upper midrange and treble area. However, the HiBy R6 PRO II offers a slightly higher level of dynamism, micro detail retrieval and also some additional brightness without to sound sharp or sibilant. The treble region of both devices sounds in general pretty controlled, while the R6 PRO II has the slightly edge when it comes to the level of extension and separation of instrument, which was pretty audible when I have listen to strings and percussions.
The HiBy R6 PRO II and FiiO M11 Plus ESS do have an excellent performance in terms of separation of instruments and vocals, especially for their price segment. The HiBy R6 PRO II is the device with the better sense of soundstage wideness, while both are pretty equal when it comes to the depth of the stage. The FiiO M11 Plus ESS is a DAP with a pretty clean & black background, while the HiBy R6 PRO II takes it to another level, which gives it an advantage when it comes to the micro details and the imaging.
The HiBy R6 PRO II is a gorgeous looking Digital Audio Player that shows the perfect combination of good implemented hardware and software, embedded in to a device, which is able to produce a pretty rich, detailed and clean sonic presentation. It offers the perfect mix of musicality and technical performance that is supported with an extreme “clean/silent” background, which makes it easier to focus to the details that going on in the background of your music. All in all, the final result is an excellent product for what you will get for its price!
Pros & Cons:
- + Impressive Overall Sound Performance
- + Excellent Hardware & Software Implementation
- + Class A/AB discrete Amplifier Circuit Design
- + Large Screen with 1080*2160 Resolution
- + Eye-Catching Design
- + Premium Build Quality
- – Battery Life in Class A Mode
- – Power Output could be slightly higher
- – A bit large
Thank you for the Read!