Hiby RS6

Design.

The exterior design of RS6 is identical to R6 2020 and has the same dimensions of 130mm x 73mm x 15mm, though weight went up to 315g (vs R6 2020 being 235g) due to a pure copper chassis, in champagne gold finish, being heavier than aluminum alloy (R6 2020).  The chassis around the top, bottom, and sides are all pure copper, while the front and the back (carbon fiber pattern) are glass.  The focus of RS6 front is a generous 5” IPS 1080p HD display.  While a film screen protector is already applied, and a bonus one included with accessories, the glass itself is 5th gen corning gorilla, so we are talking about a scratch resistant high-end glass display.  The touch screen supports multi-finger gesture and my favorite – double-tap to wake up the display.

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RS6 is a rectangular shape DAP with an edge-to-edge glass touch screen dominating the front, though Hiby did add custom design touches to give it some personality. The sides have an angular facet cut so it is not flat, and even with a leather case on you can still feel the unique shape of the sides.  On the left side you will find a spring-loaded slot for microSD card.  With leather case on, microSD card is covered.  On the right side, you have power button at the top (long press for power on/off with on-screen confirmation, short-press for screen on/off), LED multi-functional status light, and evenly spaced Play/Pause and Skip buttons.  All buttons have a nice tactile response.  Power button is a little bigger, while playback buttons are narrower, but still big enough and spaced far apart to press without hitting a button next to it.

The LED light is RGB and indicates not just when power is on (pale blue) or when charging (pulsating red, with faster pulsating when quick charging and slower pulsating for regular charging), but also format of the audio playback with blue (48kHz and under), green (64k-192kHz), orange (over 192kHz), and white (DSD files).  At the top in the upper right corner, you have Alps digital encoder with a matching copper finish volume knob and a diamond cut pattern around it for a secure grip when turning, soft click action as you turn it, and guards on each side to keep the knob recessed with a top edge of the DAP.  With leather case on, the top of the volume knob also gets covered.

At the bottom you have 4.4mm BAL and 3.5mm SE headphone ports to the right, and 4.4mm BAL and 3.5mm SE Line Out ports to the left, opposite of R8 layout.  Each port has a dedicated functionality without a need to switch between HO/LO.  In the middle at the bottom, you have USB-C multi-function port for charging, data transfer, USB DAC in and Digital Out, and also Coax Out with included custom cable.

Under the hood.

After RS6 announcement, some people assumed its discrete R-2R DAC will be just cut and paste of Cayin R01.  But in reality, R-2R DAC circuit in RS6 is tuned differently.  It processes PCM signal by utilizing the updated design in the heart of their own custom Darwin Architecture with FIR Filter (256-tap adjustable Impulse Response filter), Oversampling (to remove any sound aliasing artifacts), Nonlinear Harmonics control (to increase some harmonics and to make the sound more natural), and Linearity Compensation (using algorithms to compensate some non-linearities of R-2R resistor network) followed by R-2R DAC.  Hiby also implemented Non-oversampling (NOS) mode that bypasses FIR Filter and Oversampling for a more natural processing of the sound.  But, interestingly enough, DSD decoding follows a different path.

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Overall, the design is not the same as N6ii with R01 module.  And of course, we are also dealing with a superior Android 9 and Snapdragon 660 SoC (RS6) vs Android 8.1 and Snapdragon 425 (N6ii).  RS6, similar to its R6 2020 and R8 siblings, features a fast Snapdragon 660 SoC 8-core processor running at max 2.2GHz clock rate, with 8x Qualcomm Kryo 260 Gold/Silver architecture and Adreno 512 GPU.  It comes with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB internal storage, and microSD card expansion up to 2TB.  The open Android 9 OS features Direct Transport Architecture (DTA, systemwide bitperfect audio) and even a support for USB DTA (bitperfect USB audio).  RS6 interface is super fast, and I measured AnTuTu 3D benchmark score to be on par with R6 2020 and R8.  As expected, all the popular audio formats are supported, including MQA 16x unfolding.

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So, digital side of the design is impressive, but analog side is equally as good.  Following the blocks of Darwin Architecture, RS6 also features a powerful amplifier section, with implementation of a discrete current-mode amplifier topology with OPA1642 and dual OPA1612, followed by a quad OPA1622 opamps feeding 8 independent channels in parallel with each channel having a combination of voltage and current amplification.  All this translates into 3.5mm single ended output having 180mW of power and 0.4 ohm output impedance, and 4.4mm balanced output with an impressive 690mW of power and 0.8 ohm output impedance.  You also have independent dedicated 3.5mm and 4.mm LO ports with corresponding fixed 2Vrms and 4Vrms output voltage.

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As already mentioned, RS6 features a generous size 5” IPS display with corning gorilla glass.  It’s a beautiful 1080p HD display with 1920×1080 resolution, 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and 443ppi high resolution pixel density, even higher pixel density than R8 5.5” display.  Plus, it features oleophobic coating, and implements detection of double-tapping to wake up the screen.  It is a great feature where you turn the display on by double-tapping on it, so you can give your power button a little break.

Other standard features are dual-band WiFi with a support of 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 with a support of all hi-res codecs, including aptX HD, LDAC, and UAT, and two-way Bluetooth to pair up with wireless headphones/speakers and to be able to pair up with your smartphone as a receiver to function like a wireless BT DAC/amp.  Also, as already mentioned, USB-C port is multi-functional for charging, data copying, USB DAC functionality, Digital out, and SPDIF output to bring out Coax signal with the included custom cable.

And speaking of charging, RS6 features a generous 4500mA battery 38Wh battery, supporting QC3.0 and PD charging.  I was definitely able to notice a lot faster charging while using my laptop USB-C PD charger.  In my battery test using average sensitivity IEMs in med gain from 4.4mm BAL output I was getting somewhere around 8-8.5hrs of playback time.  I would have loved it to stretch to 10hrs, but it is a more complicated design, so I guess battery life is reduced.

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OS / GUI.

I usually spend a little too much time talking about details of GUI, while here we are dealing with a default popular HibyMusic app that many are already familiar with.  Thus, no need to repeat myself.  All Hiby Android DAPs come preloaded with HibyMusic app, regular version of which you can download and install on any smartphone or tablet device for free.  RS6 comes with Professional Edition version of HibyMusic.  While being the open Android DAP with preinstalled Google Play, you can also install any app as long as you can find it in Play store.  Though, you have to be aware that some devices or geographic locations have limitations set by Google of what you can download and install.  If you ran into such problem, you could visit APKPure to download and sideload apps.

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For example, Netflix was not available when I searched Google Play (US) from RS6.  But you can find and install it from APKPure.  Otherwise, I had no issues downloading and installing Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Apple Music, etc.

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Relative to Android Settings, straight from the pulldown Notification bar you have access to different shortcuts, including Audio Settings menu shortcut where you can change the Gain (low, mid, high), Download and select plugins, access global MSEB (MageSound 8-ball DSP sound effects – very effective for sound shaping), select DSD gain compensation, Channel balance adjustment, and Max volume cap setting.  The MSEB settings are system wide and should work with any audio application.  Meaning, for example, you can apply MSEB dsp sound effects to any audio app.

You will also find a Gain setting shortcut in notification bar and Darwin Controller setting where you can change Low-pass antialiasing filter, DSD filter, enable NOS, enable Atmosphere Enhanced, change Harmonics, and select customizable IEM preset.

There are a few other interesting things which some might not be familiar with.  For example, under Battery setting there is Idle Shutdown feature where you can set a timeout to shut down the DAP after idling for predefined period of time.  Hiby has it in their other Android DAPs as well, but not everybody remembers to enable it which comes in handy when we treat the DAP like a smartphone and forget to turn it off.  Also, when you long press the Power button, you have option for Power Off, Restart, or to take a Screenshot which some might find useful as well.

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Page 3 – Sound Analysis and Darwin Controller.
Page 4 – Pair up, and Comparison.
Page 5 – Wired/wireless connection, and Conclusion.

19 thoughts on “Hiby RS6

  1. Thanks for the review.
    Would you say it pairs better with IEMs with dynamic drivers, or with BA?
    I usually find dynamic drivers more musical, analogue sounding, compared to BA. But I am a bit concerned that when paired with a player like RS6 they won’t be very resolving.

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    1. I would say it pairs up better with iems that have a neutral or brighter sound signature. A warmer tuned iems might loose some resolution paired up with a more natural/smoother source.

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      1. Thanks. Just out of curiosity, why don’t you like JH Audio tuning? I haven’t listen to Jolene yet, they are hard to find where I live, but I plan to. It would be good to hear your opinion, maybe it doesn’t worth the effort to go to a distributor.

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  2. I would be very interested in your comparison with the Lotoo PAW 6000. They are similar in price point. I love the sound of the Lotoo, I just wish it had streaming capability.
    Thanks.

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    1. Just compared both, RS6 (fw 1.3, VE Erl sound preset) vs PAW6k, and I hear RS6 to have a wider soundstage and a little less colored more revealing mids/treble while PAW6k has a warmer, thicker mids and a little less sparkle in treble.

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  3. Thanks Twister for the excellent review.
    This is a new direction for Hiby.
    Would be a good match with Unique Melody MEST II?

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  4. I always read your all reviews……Comparison to similar products, cable swaps, iem comparison…..all details gives proper idea and overall picture of product….Thanks 👍👌

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    1. when it comes to these headphones, it is heavily pair up dependent. Since I’m into portable audio gear, I only have a few full size headphones and usually try them with DAPs and even usb-dac dongles to hear how they scale up. But, it all comes down to a source you are using. And with that said, R70x is super lightweight and comfortable with a more open sound.

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  5. Hey Twister
    Would this dap sound good with single dd iems such as dark sky, zen pro, Luna etc or am I better off getting the hiby r8?

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    1. A8k is a bright iem, sp2kT tube mode pairs up better with it. Unless if you play around with MSEB effects on RS6 to take the edge off upper frequencies. But as you know, all is a matter of personal preference.

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