Hiby R3 Pro

Other Wired/Wireless connections.

In this section of the review I will go over various wired and wireless connections I tested and verified with R3 Pro.

USB DAC.

I tested USB DAC functionality with my T480s laptop where R3 Pro was easily recognized by Win 10Pro, and I was able to control the volume from both my laptop and DAP.  But I also noticed a difference in sound where the same track being played directly from R3 Pro had a wider soundstage and better dynamics, while using R3 Pro as USB DAC from laptop had a narrower staging width and slightly inferior vertical dynamics.

Wireless Bluetooth.

With bi-directional 2-way Bluetooth support, you can pair up R3 Pro with external wireless headphones or speakers, or use R3 Pro as Bluetooth wireless receiver, turning it into a BT DAC.

I tested BT Rx with my Galaxy S9 phone, enabled w/LDAC codec.  Upon successful pair up, the correct codec was shown on R3 Pro.  Also, with LDAC, the sound from S9 through R3 Pro as a wireless BT DAC was identical to using R3 Pro directly with the same pair of IEMs and playing the same test track.

For my BT Tx test, I paired R3 Pro with Sennheiser HD1 M2 IEBT neckband IEMs.  The connection worked in open space, 45ft away from R3 Pro.  The sound was a typical IEBT sound sig, maybe just a little more neutral and slightly brighter.  I know that in theory under the same codec a sound should be the same, but it probably varies depending on BT chipset since the same pair up with my Galaxy S9 yielded a little more neutral sound.

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Line Out (LO).

In this test I was using portable FiiO E12A amp, which I usually find more neutral.  With this external AMP the sound is a little brighter while playing the same song directly from R3 Pro sounds a bit warmer, smoother.  To me this indicates that R3 Pro internal headphone amp is possibly coloring the sound a bit.

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Digital Out (USB-C).

In this test I was using R3 Pro as a digital source, driving external DAC/amp from its USB-C port.  I tested R3 Pro with iBasso DC01, and found it to pair up good, though you do need to keep the volume lower since DC01 output is high.  Also, the sound was a little brighter in comparison to being connected directly with the same IEM to R3 Pro.  Next, I tested R3 Pro with iFi Micro iDSD BL.  It also connected without a problem, and I found the sound to be more transparent and better resolving in comparison to direct connection of the same IEM to R3 Pro.

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Conclusion.

I keep repeating myself like a broken record that audio market, both when it comes to IEMs and DAPs, is saturated.  Thus, when people see a new model release with “Pro” suffix, their attention fades away because they assume it’s a small upgrade.  In case of going from R3 to R3 Pro, the only thing that’s small is the same compact size and exterior look of this DAP.  With so many changes under the hood, R3 Pro version feels like R3 on steroids.

Besides updated dual DAC, the playtime nearly doubled, Bluetooth updated to 5.0 and still supports 2-way LDAC, WiFi now supports dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and the power of 2.5mm BAL output doubled to 210mW.  Plus, you still get native support of DSD256, full MQA decoding, MSEB sound shaping effects, WebRadio, and both Tidal and Qobuz streaming.  It will not be easy to find another DAP with all these features under $200.

18 thoughts on “Hiby R3 Pro

  1. Damn 😦 I wanted to do a review on a new one with hope of the same meaning getting a newer device to use and review. But anyway I LOVE MY R3 so much nothing is difficult about it other than finding the correct update so it doesn’t crash lol but I love it. It holds all of my music which includes everything I have listened to and enjoyed and all the music I have written, and preformed professionally . I want to get either the R5 or R 6 next

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  2. Hiby R3 Pro and Cayin N5ii/N5iiS, which is better? And will Shozy BG pair well with both of them? I mainly listen to vocal and instrumental music.
    Thanks

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    1. “better” is a very subjective term 😉 A picky audiophile with a high res iems will probably go for N5iiS since it has a better technical performance. Others who are casual listeners might find both to sound as good. R3pro can only stream tidal/qobuz while N5iiS can load other apps, but at the same time N5iiS uses old Android releases and some of the apps might run sluggish. Also, I have no experience with Shozy BG.

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  3. Hi, and thanks for this nice review.

    Do you know what it is “worth” used like network streamer (player) (USB / Coax), for a home instalation, replacing something like Cayin iDap-6 or an Raspi Allo Signature USB Bridge or blue node 2, auralic aries G1 and so on ?
    In my home instalation I can use HiByLink on my Android phone so I cand leave the R3 Pro connected to the stand alone DAC.

    Qobuz is very imortant to me. Do you know if I can choose the quality of streaming ? My home instalation involve active speakers which can handle 24/96 KHz at the best. So if I stream a 24/192 album can I “block” at 24/96 like in app Qobuz for Android ?
    Can we manage every aspect from HiByLink – inclunding Qobuz or Tidal ?

    thanks
    dan

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    1. Sorry, I’m only familiar with a basic DAP/iem setup, that’s what I’m using. Can’t offer too much help with other stuff. And if you do care about Qobuz and Tidal and managing them to full potential, R3 Pro is not for you. It uses a very basic cut down native version of the app with limited functionality, just for streaming. You need to upgrade to android DAP like R5 (and R5 is pretty cheap too, $299) which has Google Play store and you can download Qobuz or Tidal or other full apps, to use it like with your smartphone.

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      1. Thanks for your answer.

        I think your are right :).
        R5 HiByLink (on a android phone) manage only R5 HiBy Music ? Right ? No way to controle Qobuz app on R5 without manipulating the R5 itsself ?
        I would like to this 🙂 . Sitting on my sofa, with my android phone and controle Qobuz on R5…. 🙂
        I adtmit its a very special need 🙂
        I would like to purchase Cayin iDap-6 for my home system but its implemntation of Hiby do not include Qobuz. :(.

        many thanks,
        Dan

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  4. I remember reading your opus#1 review, like others who’ve reviewed it, read it as if it was a game changer dap because of SQ/ value.

    Reading upon your comparison of the R3pro vs Opus#1s (both using the same double dac)… do they actually stand head to toe in terms of SQ?

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    1. Still does. And price is no longer indicator of what is good or better. There are some $150 entry level daps that sound as good as $700 or even higher. So the big things to distinguish them will be their features, build quality, form factor. #1s was tuned great, but it is so outdated when it comes to everything else…

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    1. I would still go for R5 because in some pair ups sound quality will scale up with higher power which R5 can provide while R3 Pro is lacking a bit behind. R5 just has a much better price/performance ratio due to all these features. But tbh, due to it’s small form factor, while i’m at home I reach out more for R3 Pro, to stream my Qobuz playlists 😉

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  5. Had an R5 but not taken by design. Now just got R3 Pro and its amazing for £165 imported from Hiby. I even prefer the sound to the R5. Styling of this follows R6/R6Pro while R5’s strange with its clear end pieces and protruding front/back glass. If you must have Tidal/Spotify/AmazonHD etc. offline storage the has to be thee R5 or higher.

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