The hard to fault $500 DAP.
PROS: Build quality, attractive design, smooth HiBy OS, fast UI, ergonomic design, very musical smooth tonality, good technical performance for its asking price, no-BS DAP with hardly any quirks.
CONS: Smoother tonality could have you wishing for some more vibrancy and energy.
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.
Official Website – HiBy R6 III
Tech Specs and Output Figures.
Design and User Interface.
I’ve always found HiBy’s designs attractive, classy and R6 III again is no different. In fact there’s something really special about it that makes it a joy to use. Maybe it’s the well designed, attractive looking Gunmetal Grey chasis that oozes of high end design, the vivid and vibrant 720p screen that looks better than some not as vibrant 1080p screens in more expensive DAPs, the ergonomic design that has all the buttons at the right spots or the smooth and fast Android 12 based HiBy OS. In order to drop the pricing from R6 2020, the main thing HiBy changed is the screen – 720p from R6 2020’s 1080p. But I don’t see the screen as much of a downgrade because of how sharp and vibrant it looks. In fact, if I hadn’t read the specifications, I might not have even realised it. On the other hand, they upped the Android OS from 9 to 12, put in the recent Snapdragon 665 SoC and put in the Class A circuitry like the R5 Gen 2, while dropping the price by $300 – which is significant!
R6 III comes in two colour options, Black and Gunmetal Grey. The edges are very nicely bevelled; they feel very nice and smooth while holding the DAP. The 5.0″ screen is not completely bezel-less like how recent smartphones have gotten, yet fills up almost 95% of the space with a very small bezel at the bottom which hosts the ‘HIBY’ logo.
Hardware Controls –
- On the top is the Rotary Encoder for volume adjustment.
- At the bottom are the outputs and charging port in the order below,
4.4mm BAL LO | 3.5mm LO | USB Type-C charging port | 3.5mm PO | 4.4mm BAL PO
- On the right are buttons for Power, an LED indicator and buttons for Previous, Play and Next.
- On the left we have a micro-SD card slot.
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)
User Experience – R6 III, like the R6 2020, is one of the fastest DAP in the market at its price point and in fact faster than a lot of DAPs much above its asking price too. The custom HiBy OS is extremely smooth, quick and a joy to use. The body is fairly light and has a very good form factor, which makes it a DAP I don’t mind using on the go all the time. For the SD card tray, R6 III uses the push in and lock style mechanism. All buttons are ergonomically placed, have a minor triangular head and feel very nice to use. The rotary encoder on top is fairly easy to reach and adds on to R6 III’s classy look. This encoder is much better than the one I have on the R6 2020 as it is extremely smooth and never misses any input, which R6 2020’s sometimes did. All in all, there is not much to fault here and R6 III is a very well designed DAP in every aspect.
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.
Page 2 – Sound Analysis, Pair-ups with IEMs and Headphones, Comparisons and Conclusion.
One thought on “HiBy R6 III and CR06”
Great review. Really surprised these drove the HD 6XX going by other reviews. Thought the 300ohms impedence would be a killer. Great news for me as thinking of this DAP paired with the new 660S2s
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