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.
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)
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)
|Model||HiBy R5 (Gen 2)|
|Operating system||Android 8.1|
|SoC model||Snapdragon 425|
|WiFi||Supports 2.4GHz, 5GHz|
|Micro SD card||＜2TB|
|Input||5V⎓0.5A or 9V⎓1.5A|
|Charging time||Approx. 2h (0%-100%)|
|Firmware upgrade||Over-the-air internet connected upgrade|
|Third-party app installations||Unlimited|
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
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.
Supporting 16x MQA unfolding, enabling master quality sound directly from your device.
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!
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!
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.