Hidizs AP80 Copper Review

Hidizs AP80 Copper Review

 

  

Introduction:

Hidizs Technology Co. Ltd. was founded early in 2009 and is specialized in portable audio equipments such like DAC’s, DAP’s and IEM’s.

Hidizs has released the Copper and Stainless Steel versions of the original AP80 which has had an Aluminum chassis. The AP80 Copper which I will now review for you is an ultra portable DAP that has the same internals like the first AP80. It has some nice features like the ES9218P DAC Chip, Native DSD Support, 2.45 inch Touch Screen, Bi-Direction Lossless Bluetooth Connectivity, FM Radio and a Step Counter..

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank Hidizs for providing me the AP80 Copper as review sample. I am not affiliated with Hidizs beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.

 

Purchase Links:

The actual price of the Hidizs AP80 Copper is $224.00USD and is available under the following purchase link;

Hidizs AP80 Copper Purchase Link: https://www.hidizs.net/products/ap80

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The device comes in a relative small black cardboard box that sports the company logo and product brandings on the top and technical information’s at the bottom.

This box contains the following items;

  • 1 x Hidizs AP80 Copper Digital Audio Player
  • 1 x USB mini to USB Type-C cable for file transfer and charging
  • 1 x Micro USB to USB Type-C cable
  • 1 x Silicone case
  • 1 x User Manual, etc.
  • 1 x Warranty card
  • 1 x Set of Screen Protector (Back and Front)

 

 

Design, Buttons and Build Quality:

The Hidizs AP80 Cooper is a Digital Audio Player with a very compact design and small size by 58x49x13.5 mm. It is a bit weighty (approx 100gr) due to the copper chassis but feels very solid in my hand. The overall build quality is pretty good, while the slightly aged surface and the natural cooper color of the chassis is quite beautiful.

On the front of the device is the 2.45 Inch Touch Screen of the company Samsung with a Resolution of 480×360 Pixel. The screen is small but quite responsive and visible under direct sunlight conditions.

At the back of the AP80 Copper is a glass panel that shows the product brandings and some of the industrial certifications.

The top of the device is blank while the right surface features the volume wheel that acts also as power on/off (long press action for 3 seconds) and screen on/off (short press action) button. The volume wheel is fairly precise. Here are also the next/fast forward, play/pause and back/fast back buttons that are small but easy to press.

On the left side of the AP80 Copper is the micro SD card slot that supports cards up to 1TB.

At the bottom of the device are the USB Type-C female connection that reacts as digital out for USB DAC/USB Audio functionalities, charging port/data transmission and the 3.5mm TRS headphone jack that shares also the LO (Line Out) output that you can select from the settings.

 

 

Some Technical Specifications:
  • Model                         : Hidizs AP80
  • Operating System       : Hiby OS 3.0
  • Screen                         : 2.45’’ Samsung HD IPS Touch Screen (480×360pixel)
  • Master Chip                : Ingenic X1000
  • Expanded Memory     : 1 micro SD card slot up 1TB
  • Pedometer Sensor      : KX126
  • DAC                            : Sabre ES9218P
  • Frequency Response  : 20Hz – 40 kHz
  • THD+N                       : <0.003% (1 kHz)
  • Dynamic Range          : 116dB
  • SNR                            : 120dB
  • Output Impedance     : <1
  • Bluetooth                    : Bluetooth V4.0 with aptX & LDAC support
  • Phone Output             : 3.5mm Single Ended
  • Output Power             : 70mW + 70mW @32Ω
  • USB In/Out                 : USB Type-C USB2.0 Charging/Data trans./USB DAC/USB Audio)
  • Battery                        : 800mAH
  • Run Time                    : 8 – 10 Hours 3.5mm Headphone out
  • USB Port                     : USB Type C
  • Size                             : 58x49x13.5 mm
  • Weight                        : approx 100grams

 

 

Supported File Formats:

The Hidizs AP80 supports most Hi-Res lossless formats including FLAC, APE, WMA, WAV, ALAC, DSF, DFF, and SACD-ISO. Native support for DSD 64/128, PCM of up to 384Khz/32bit

 

Hardware and Software Features:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper is a very compact Digital Audio Player with a pretty small size which has some nice hardware & software features that I want know share with you.

 

A. Processor:

Under the hood of the Hidizs AP80 Copper is the X1000 CPU of the company Ingenic Semiconductor with a processor speed of 1.0 GHz. It has an energy efficient MIPS32 XBurst RISC core with double precision hardware float point unit for low power consumption.

The X1000 was good enough for a fluid operation of the AP80 Copper.

 

B. DAC/AMP Section:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper has the ES9218P SABRE HiFi SoC under the hood which features the company’s patented 32-bit “HyperStream” architecture that can support up to 32-bit 384kHz PCM and DSD256 to deliver up to 130 dB SNR and -114 dB Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N). It also supports popular high resolution and lossless audio formats including DSD, DoP, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF and WAV.

The Output Power      PO      : 90mW@16 Ohm / 80mW@32 Ohm
Output Power             BAL     : 240mW@16 Ohm / 240mW@32 Ohm
Output Impedance     : PO≤1.0Ω(32Ω loaded) /BAL≤2.0Ω(32Ω loaded)

The AP80 Copper has a build in amplifier and LPF (Low Pass Filter), which is implanted to the SoC (System on a Chip) together with the ES9218P and output Switch. The amplifier has an output impedance of <1Ω and a power output of 70mW + 70mW @ 32Ω (THD+N<1%).

 

C. Connectivity:

1. Wired:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper features a 3.5mm unbalanced (TRS) headphone out that works also as Line Output (LO) that can be easily switched over the short settings menu.

The Hidizs AP80 Copper can also be used as an asynchronous USB DAC with both Mac’s and Windows PC’s. With Mac computers, you can just plug-and-play the AP80 without the need of a driver installation. With Windows PC’s you need to install the driver, which you can find on Hidizs website.

2. Bluetooth & Bi-Directional USB Connectivity:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper uses Bluetooth 4.0 and supports also “Bi-Direction Lossless Bluetooth Connectivity” which can be used to transmit or to receive/stream your music from any compatible device. This is a nice feature if you want to listen songs from streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, etc. The actually supported codec’s are LDAC/aptX/aptX HD and SBC.

The connection between the AP80 CU and my Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus was pretty stabile during my tests, without to show drops and noise issue from a distance up to 9-10 meters.

 

3. UAT (Ultra Audio Transmission) Support:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper supports the so called UAT codec (Ultra Audio Transmission), an audio coding technology that was self-developed by HiBy that supports up to 192 kHz sampling frequencies or up to 1.2Mbps bit rates which is a pretty interesting feature.

 

D. Battery Life:

The battery life of the Hidizs AP80 Copper is quite good for such a small device with a build in battery of 800mAH and output power of 70mW per channel @ 32ohm.

I have tested the battery life of the AP80 Copper under the following condition and file formats.

DUNU Titan 6 / Volume 65 out of 120 / Screen Off

  • Flac 16bit/44kHz        : approx 10 hours
  • Flac 24bit/192kHz      : approx 7 – 7.5 Hours
  • DSD64 (.dsf)              : approx 6 – 6.5 Hours

 

E. Other Features:

 

1. Pedometer:

The Hidisz AP80 Copper has a built-in step counter sensor, while the program will run in the

Background after activate it under the step counter APP. You can view your steps in real time and it supports also the viewing of historical actions.

 

2. FM Ratio:

The AP80 Copper features a FM radio function unlike many other product in the market. To activate the function you need to insert an earphone that will be used as antenna. The radio signal and sound quality is on an average level.

 

F. The Software:

The Operating System (in short OS) of the Hidizs AP80 Copper is HiBy OS 3.0 which is a Linux based software that was developed by the company HiBy. The GUI is pretty fluid with minimal/low lags and should satisfy most of its users.

The Main Menu shows you some icons/shortcuts like Player, FM, Step, Bluetooth, System Settings and About.

The Player shortcut links you to the player interface which is minimalistic but clean. Here are a number of swipe gestures you can do to open some new windows.

If you swipe from left to right, it will appear the player fine tuning menus where you can see the Hidizs logo and some settings like Update Database, MSEB (Mage Sound 8-Ball DSP Tuning), Equalizer and Play Settings.

If you slide up from the bottom of the screen, you will see shortcut functions which will give you access to quick adjustments like screen brightness, volume, gain, Bluetooth on/off, play/pause, etc.

You can set your EQ settings manually or can use some presets like Rock, Pop, Dance Metal, etc.

Normally, I don’t like to use any EQ settings, but the MSEB (Mage Sound 8-Ball) feature of the AP80 Copper, which is a combination of multiple algorithms based on parametric equalizer (PEQ) and sound field adjustment (in short a DSP tool) works pretty good If you like to transform the sound of your device.

You can turn on and select several Bluetooth functions under the Bluetooth Menu. As I have mentioned before the AP80 Cooper supports lossless transmission protocols like apt-X, LDAC, etc. and features two-way Bluetooth transmitting which can transform it to a so called Bluetooth DAC. These features can be enabled under this menu.

Other options like the FM radio, Step Counter and System Settings can be activated and adjusted under the main menu.

The Hidizs AP80 Copper has also a clock feature that is implanted to the main screen.

 

HiBy Link Application:

You can control the Hidisz AP80’s music wireless directly from your phone with the HiBy Link applications. I have tested only the Android version that you can download from the Google Play Store.

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review:

DAP’s                         : Hidizs AP80 Copper, FiiO M6, HiBy R3
IEM’s                          : DUNU Titan 6, Dawnwood ST08, Final Audio B2

  

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Spotify)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
  • Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Tom Player – Resonace Theory (16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kbps)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)

 

 

The Sound:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper is a DAP with a slightly warmer than neutral tonality that shows deep lows, a soft and musical midrange and a treble range with good extension and control.

 

Bass:

The AP80 Copper shows a good subbass depth and extension, with an intensity that is not too high or to little. The tonality of this area is in general soft and warmish, while it has enough depth from instruments like cross drums up to the synthesizers.

The Hidizs AP80 Copper doesn’t add additional subbass coloration to your earphone/headphone/iem, which means that the performance strongly depends of the gear you will use with it.

The midbass region on the other hand sounds pretty strong and emphasized and shows a lightly warmish, smooth and musical tonality. It shows slightly more quantity than the subbass range and is in many situations quite controlled.

The bass of the Hidizs AP80 Copper is controlled and pretty successful in terms of clarity & detail, which is one of the important plus points of the AP80 Copper.

 

Midrange:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper has fairly transparent, balanced and smooth midrange that is also musical and airy in its presentation. The general tonality of the midrange is warmish and meaty.

 

Vocals:

The lower midrange depth of the Hidizs AP80 Copper is pretty good. Male vocals do sound warmish; have an average thickness and are musical & soft in tonality, while the clarity is also quite good which makes them pleasant to listen to.

The upper midrange of the AP80 Copper shows a strong emphasis, which makes female vocals quite detailed. This upper midrange tuning makes female vocals more pronounced and detailed compared to male voices. The female vocals have a good level of transparency and freshness and do sound soft, sweet and emotional.

 

Instruments:

The AP80 Copper has a good instrument separation and layout and is well settled on the stage, without to show unwanted situations like mixings.

The Hidizs AP80 Copper has a slightly warm, musical and natural instrument tonality with a good level of airiness. The general instrument presentation is full bodied without to show any unwanted dryness. Especially instruments like acoustic guitars have shown a sweet and warm tonality that makes them very pleasant to listen to. Other instruments like violas do sound warm, emotional and quite natural, while violins and pianos have a slightly bright tonality but without to be ear-pricing.

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper has a strong upper midrange emphasis, whit a slightly warmish tonality and good level of control.

The upper midrange transitions, including metal music, do not suffer from stiffness and sharpness.

The AP80 Copper has generally a good upper midrange extension. Everything from female vocals to violins is crisp, clear and detailed.

When it comes to the treble range the Hidizs AP80 Copper has a pronounced lower treble range tuning, while the general treble presentation.

Instruments such like Hi-hats are apparent in genres like metal music and it is possible to count the strokes.  Other treble intensive instruments such like crash and ride cymbals are fast and controlled, with sufficient extension.

There is no interference when the piano is accelerating in Jazz songs; the hits are clear and distinct.

The level of airiness in the treble range is pretty high, while the emphasis in treble range is usually in the lower and middle treble range. The treble intensity decreases in a controlled manner towards the upper treble range.

The treble range is presented in a more neutral and clear tonality compared to the other frequencies and is very successful in terms of detail. The overall treble performance of the AP80 Copper is far above this price level.

 

Soundstage:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper performs pretty well in terms of instrument and vocal separation and positioning which is decent for such a tiny device. The soundstage has a good width, while the depth is on an average level. The sufficient amount of neutral air between the instruments makes the AP80 copper fairly airy. It was quite interesting to hear that a DAP in this price range is able to performs such well with a high density of instruments.

 

 

 

Comparison: 

Hidizs AP80 Copper versus FiiO M6:

The FiiO M6 has a brighter, thinner and more neutral tonality compared to the Hidizs AP80 Copper, which offers a warmer and fuller bodied presentation.

The bass presentation of the M6 is more linear tuned compared to the Ap80 Copper that shows more depth. The subbass performance of the AP80 Copper is more successful compared to the M6. The AP80 Copper has also superior to the M6 in terms of midbass quantity and impact, while the M6 is slightly better in terms of control.

The midrange of the FiiO M6 has a more neutral tonality than the Hidizs AP80 Copper. The AP80 Copper sounds more emotional and musical in this region. Male vocals are fuller with the AP80 Copper while female vocals are detailed on both devices.

The treble range of the FiiO M6 has a more neutral and slightly dry tonality, compared to the Hidizs AP80 Copper that is fuller and a more controlled in this region.

The soundstage of both devices is pretty close in terms of wideness and separation, while the Hidizs AP80 Copper has is slightly better in terms of depth.

 

Hidizs AP80 Copper versus HiBy R3:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper has a slightly warmer tonality compared to the Hiby R3, while both devices are sharing an entertaining presentation. The AP80 Copper has the upper hand in terms of subbas depth and extension, while the R6 is slightly more controlled in the midbass region.

The Hiby R3 is more successful with electro guitars, while the Hidizs AP80 Copper sounds more realistic with bass guitars.

Both DAP’s showing a mild and musical midrange presentation. The midrange of the Hiby R3 is slightly more upfront compared to Hidizs AP80 Copper. The AP80 Copper has the upper hand in terms of midrange clarity, detail and musicality.

The treble presentation of both, the FiiO M6 and HiBy R3 is soft and fatigue-free, while the Hidizs AP80 Copper is more successful in terms of extension and detail.

Both DAP’s have a suitable soundstage for a fairly precise separation and placement of instruments/vocals. The AP80 Copper shows a better performance in terms of soundstage width and depth. The soundstage of the AP80 Copper is also more airy compared to the R3.

 

Conclusion:

The Hidizs AP80 Copper is a great looking device with a very compact size and robust build quality, which offers a great sound performance and some nice additional features like Bi-Directional Bluetooth & USB Connectivity, MESB PEQ, Pedometer, FM Radio, etc.. But if you have a lower budget and can do without the copper housing the standard aluminum variant is a nice alternative for you.

 

Pros and Cons:

  • + Upper Midrange Performance
  • + Treble Extension and Control
  • + Full Bodied Presentation & Musicality
  • + Size and Build Quality
  • + MESB PEQ
  • + Bi-Directional Bluetooth & USB Connectivity
  • – A bit Pricy Compared to the Aluminum Variant
  • – The Silicone Case Looks A bit cheap
  • – Sub-bass Depth (may not satisfy bass-heads)

 

 

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