HiBy R5 Gen 2

Class (A)part!

PROS: Excellent VFM, classy design, build quality, one of the fastest DAPs as per AnTuTu Benchmark test, good usage of premium tech inside, very nice smooth HiBy OS experience, high quality rich and musical sound signature especially in Class A mode, very low noise floor, excellent 35 hour long battery life (Economy mode), QC3.0 support.

CONS: Class A mode is the standout feature but also consumes significantly more battery than the excellent 35 hour long play time Economy mode, old Android OS (Android 8.1)

WISH: HiBy should include their excellent 10-band EQ in System Audio settings too like they did MSEB.

About HiBy.

Established in 2011 and based out of China, HiBy has extensive history of R&D, developing software and UI for other manufacturers, their own music player HiBy Music (which is a killer music player capable of doing things the average Android player can’t) and are now a major player in the hardware world too with a vast DAP lineup as well as earphones, IEMs, TWS, Bluetooth DAC/AMPs, etc.

Links – HiBy R5 Gen 2 (Official website)

R6 2020 (Left) vs R5 Gen 2 (Right)
R6 2020 (Left) vs R5 Gen 2 (Right)

Included in the box.

  • HiBy R5 Gen 2
  • USB Type-C to Type-A Cable
  • Blue leather case
  • Screen protector (2 already applied on DAP front and back)
  • Manuals

Tech Specs.

Model HiBy R5 (Gen 2)
Operating system Android 8.1
SoC model Snapdragon 425
DAC ES9219C x2
WiFi Supports 2.4GHz, 5GHz
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2
USB USB 2.0
Display size 4.7”
Display type IPS
Display resolution 720*1280
RAM 2GB
Internal storage 16GB
Micro SD card <2TB
Colour Black
Body material Aluminium
Dimensions 123*71.3*15.5 mm
Weight 220 g
Input 5V⎓0.5A or 9V⎓1.5A
Battery capacity 4500mAh
Charging time Approx. 2h (0%-100%)
Firmware upgrade Over-the-air internet connected upgrade
Third-party app installations Unlimited

Technology Inside.

HiBy R5 GePicture courtesy - HiByn 2 Specs
Picture courtesy – HiBy

Summary.

35 hr extra long play time | 4.7” high resolution large display | In-house researched HiBy OS | Open Android OS | Systemwide SRC bypass | HiByLink remote control | 2.5 / 3.5 / 4.4mm all ports compatible | MQA 16x | Two-way bluetooth | QC3.0 quick charging

Class-A amplification.

Employing flagship grade class-A amplification in this mid-tier android DAP, the R5 utilizes Class A discrete balanced amplification circuitry, capable of continuous high power output, with plentiful energy reserves.

Discrete output stage.

With 4 independent channels of push-pull amplification with 270° conduction angles constructed of discrete components, including 8 high powered paired bipolar transistors, the R5 provides excellent current output power and control over variable loads. THD is down at 0.0006% at the amplified output for unparalleled realism.

Dual High-Performance DACs for astonishing music resolution

Dual ES9219C DACs natively support DSD256, PCM768kHz/32bit high-res formats with SNR of 130dB and THD+N down below -112dB. Presenting a highly accurate output voltage, ensures the most accurate signal is given to the class-A amp section for amplification; also supporting integrated DAC-amp output (economy mode) for excellent low power consumption and extra long play time.

Dual independent crystal oscillators, FPGA clock algorithm.

Utilising dual independent audiophile-grade crystal oscillators at 45.158MHz and 49.152MHz provides high precision timing for all audio events in your music.

Cost-no-object audio components.

Employing 163 high-precision resistors, 19 Panasonic tantalum POSCAPs, and 4 ELNA electrolytic capacitors maximally suppresses power supply ripple, yielding silky black backgrounds.

Battery life – 35 hours (Economy mode) | 10 hours (Class A).

With 4500mAh battery yielding over 35 hours of play time in economy mode and 10 hours play time in Class-A amplification, R5 Gen 2 is a very travel friendly.

Systemwide SRC bypass including Apple Music hi-res support.

Fully open android compatible with virtually all 3rd party apps, bypassing sample rate conversion systemwide, allowing you to enjoy lossless music from any supporting app, including Apple Music.

MQA 16x.

Supporting 16x MQA unfolding, enabling master quality sound directly from your device.

Unwired unlimited.

Two-way Bluetooth supporting all Bluetooth audio codecs including UAT, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, AAC, SBC. 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual band WiFi for stable connection to your online music library at all times. Supports DLNA / WiFi music transfer. UAT (Ultra Audio Transmission) is HiBy’s in-house developed all-new Bluetooth audio transmission codec. Supporting an industry-highest 192kHz transmission sample rate and up to 1.2Mbps Bluetooth bandwidth, this also can optimize its transmission characteristics according to different music genres, for the highest of audio fidelity from wireless!

Hardware Testing.

AnTuTu Benchmark – R5 Gen 2 scores quite well (for a DAP) in AnTuTu Benchmark test with an overall score of 73487, which makes it one of the fastest sub-$500 DAPs in the market and definitely the fastest DAP at its price point.

HiBy R5 Gen 2 AnTuTu

Battery Life (4500 mAh) – HiBy claims 35 hours battery life in Economy mode and 10 hours in Class A mode. I averaged around 31-33.5 hours in Economy mode and 8-9.5 hours in Class A mode with with local files and streaming music randomly.

I have to add that the 35 hour battery life was a massive boon in my recent travels. In the 5 day trip I made recently, which included two 8 hour flight journeys, I opted to take the R5 Gen 2 along and didn’t have to charge it even once.

Qualcomm Quick Charge QC3.0 Support – R5 Gen 2 supports QC3.0 fast charging, which helps charge the DAP within a couple of hours. It took around 2 hours to charge from 15% to 100% with the Mi QC3.0 charger.

Design and Build Quality.

I’ve generally found HiBy’s designs very attractive and classy. You can clearly see that HiBy is trying to keep the design language between the new DAPs consistent in the refreshed lineup. R5 Gen 2 looks like a baby R6 2020, which in turn looked like a baby R8. Compared to its predecessor R5, Gen 2 is sharper with bold straight lines and looks even more premium. It has a nice looking aluminium alloy body with bevelled edges and corners for smooth and easy usage. The 4.7″ 720p screen is not bezel-less but fills up almost 90% of the space with a very small bezel at the bottom which hosts the ‘HIBY’ logo.

The LED light indicator –

  • Blue – 48kHz and under
  • Green – 64k-192kHz
  • Orange – Over 192kHz
  • White – DSD files
  • Red – Charging (faster blinks with quick charging, slower with normal charging)
HiBy R5 Gen 2 vs R6 2020 with their leather case
HiBy R6 2020 (left) vs R5 Gen 2 (right) with the HiBy leather case.

Side by side comparison with R6 2020.

External buttons and outputs of R5 Gen 2 –

  • Bottom – Outputs and charging port in the order below,
    3.5mm LO/PO | USB Type-C charging port | 2.5mm & 4.4mm BAL PO
  • Right are buttons for Power, an LED indicator and buttons for Previous, Play and Next.
  • Left we have the Volume buttons and a micro-SD card slot.

Some cool features of HiBy Music player.

Import music via Wifi – If you have a Mac, you know what a pain in the *** transferring files using Android File Transfer (AFT) can be. That is why I love this feature! You simple need to enter the URL mentioned by HiBy on this page in your laptop’s browser which loads a page where you can create folders and transfer the files to those folders on the DAP. It is fast and saves the hassle of connecting the the DAP to the laptop every time you want to transfer a new album from your laptop.

Import Music over WiFi

MSEB – Whoever has tried the HiBy Music player has probably come across the MSEB EQ and knows how cool an EQ it is. It has layman terms as the options to tweak, which takes the guess work in a graphic equaliser away.

R6 2020 MSEB

10-Band Graphic Equalizer – Nothing out of the ordinary here but I’d like to mention that being an audio engineer, I use such EQs on a daily basis and HiBy’s EQ works and reacts to gain increments and decrements very well. It’s a very musical sounding EQ!

R6 2020 10-Band Equalizer

HiBy Link – Link lets you control and manage your music files wirelessly with your mobile phone. With the HiBy Link, you can also play the Hi-Res music stored on the R5 Gen 2 wirelessly right on your smartphone.

Page 2 – Sound Analysis, Pair-ups, Comparisons and Conclusion.

3 thoughts on “HiBy R5 Gen 2

    1. Hey! The 6 out of stock DAPs you are referring to are the older versions of the current model DAPs that are all in stock. The older ones had been discontinued in favour of the new updated models. They just haven’t taken them off their website, probably so that everyone can compare the differences in hardware, looks and components of the different models and versions. Cheers!

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  1. I would really appreciate your thoughts between the Hiby R5 gen. 2 (in class A mode—I don’t really care about battery endurance) and the iBasso DX170. They are the same price. At home I have a Hugo 2, but I am looking for something that is easily pocketable and has a quick UI—I often find that when I am out walking the dog etc, its nice to quickly try another downloaded playlist from Qobuz, etc. Sound quality is also fundamental and would probably lean towards a warmer sound. One issue is my Audeze LCD-i3 need a bit of equalization. I thought that perhaps the R5 might have presets? Thanks so much!

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