HiBy R6 III and CR06

Sound Analysis.

Sound – R6 III goes for an easy and smooth presentation of music with natural tonality.  It has good resolution, detail retrieval and layering for its price – all a step above R5 Gen 2 but a step below the high performing $1000 mark DAPs like the DX240 and Shanling M6U. The soundstage boundaries are on the average-ish side, which is fit for its price point but don’t expect it to give the more expensive DAPs a run for their money. R6 III is quite a versatile DAP with a signature that doesn’t boost or dip any FR regions significantly but the smooth tonality, though musical, sometimes gives me the feeling like it’s missing some vibrancy, energy and zing that richer, reference class DAPs have. You can add some of that in with HiBy’s SystemWide MSEB customisations but it’s something that isn’t available stock from the get go.

Class AB vs Class A – The differences between the two modes are extremely minor. Switching to Class A mode, I mostly hear the transient attack smoothening with the bass rumble getting a VERY slight bump and the overall sound signature sounding more rounded and more analougue-ish (for the lack of a better word) as a result. Not much of a difference besides that. On the downside, Class A mode sucks the battery significantly – it is almost half of Class AB’s figures. So, I prefer keeping R6 III on Class AB mode for the extra battery life and I actually quite like AB mode’s tonality; it’s an equal performer to Class A in terms of sound performance, not a slouch at all, just minorly different and I can even see a lot of people actually preferring it over Class A.

Power – Even though R6 III’s power figures on paper are significantly lower than R6 2020’s, it’s not as much in real world performance and it easily powers headphones like HD6XX and DCA Closed X to extremely loud levels out of the 4.4mm BAL output in High Gain Mode at just 60-70% volume. So, don’t worry about power output figures as much.

Battery Life – I averaged around 11 hours and 5.2 hours using a variety of file formats and some screen time with BAL output in Class AB and Class A modes respectively. So, the real time figures are close to HiBy’s claims.

HiBy R6 III + Softears RS10 CIEM

Pair-up impressions with IEMs.

Note – All of these impressions were written using the 4.4mm BAL output.

Symphonium Helios – I really like this pairing. Good reference pairing for musical + critical listening. Very clean and accurate sounding tonality and timbre with a wide, open and airy sounding stage and really good imaging. The pairing adds up to very good resolution, layering and left to right separation for the combined asking price.

Softears RSV – Very clean pairing with RSV’s musical timbre coming across well but I do miss a bit of excitement that RSV has with iBasso DAPs. Class A sounds a bit soft to me and I prefer the Class AB in this pairing. Otherwise, the pairing has a natural soundstage with good depth. It’s not very widest but that’s more a trait of RSV than the R6 III.

CustomArt FIBAE 5 UIEM – I prefer this pairing very slightly more with Class A, which highlights FIBAE 5’s wonderful bass boosted tuning a bit better than AB. Very clean and smooth pairing with a very open and airy soundstage and good depth layering.

64 Audio U12t – Good pairing but a little warmer than I like as I feel it is missing some zing and vibrancy that U12t has with DAPs like DX240 or the new R6 Pro II. Otherwise, hard to fault warm-ish pairing with fairly good detail retrieval and depth layering.

Softears RS10 CIEM – Smooth and easy to listen to safe pairing with fairly good technical performance but like the U12t, I feel RS10 lacks some crunch and bite that I personally like and what it otherwise has with more technically capable DAPs like DX240 and R6 Pro II.

HiBy R6 III + Symphonium Helios

Pair-up impressions with some headphones.

Sennheiser HD6XX – R6 III easily powers HD6XX to loud levels and makes for very accurate sounding tonality and timbre. Soundstage width is not the widest but that’s more to do with HD6XX’s own ability but the depth sure sounds nice and deep. Good resolution with easy listening experience that you can listen for hours on the end without issues.

DROP + DCA Aeon Closed X – I like this pairing but more with the Class A mode as it able to very slightly smoothen Closed X’s slightly brighter tonality. Very clean and open soundstage with good imagine and layering – an excellent combo for critical listening.

Using it with CR06 Dock.

What’s included –

  • CR06 Dock
  • 3.5 – 3.5mm interconnect
  • 4.4 – 4.4mm interconnect
  • Type-C – Type-C interconnect
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card
  • QC card
  • Parts checklist
  • Power adapter (packaged separately)

CR06 is a very convenient way of using your DAPs with studio monitors, speakers and other audio devices. It has XLR, RCA, Coaxial and Optical connection options. It takes 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm BAL inputs and converts them into RCA SE and balanced XLR outputs respectively. It offers Coaxial and Optical digital connections using the Type-C USB output of DAP’s that support coaxial digital output from Type-C USB port. It also offers USB 3.0 port for storage expansion and can have the DAP read all storage devices including hard drives, which is brilliant!

HiBy CR05 Usage

Basically it is a dock that holds the dap and converts it into a multi-output device to use with a multitude of desktop devices. I have it connected to my studio monitors and it’s a very convenient way of playing music on them directly without needing me to switch on my computer/laptop and audio interface setup. Makes for easy music listening whenever I need where all I need to do is switch on one button. CR06’s sound quality is good too as it keeps R6 III’s smooth and natural tonality intact and I hear it transmitting the sound to the speakers in a very clear and transparent way. The only thing I wish was that Sonarworks had the full desktop version of Sound ID Reference on Android as well so that I could use my speaker calibration file with HiBy R6 III too. Right now I have to listen to my uncalibrated speakers and it’s a problem of Sonarworks than it having anything to do with the CR06.

HiBy CR06 Zoom Out


HiBy R5 Gen 2.

Snapdragon 425 | Dual ES9219C | Class A & AB Mode | 720p Display | 4500 mAh Battery |Android 8.1

Specs wise, R6 III is a winner all across the board except for battery life. R6 III has the better SoC, the higher range dual 9038Q2M DAC, same Class A + AB mode, a more vibrant 720p display, more attractive chasis, feel and ergonomics as well as a more up to date Android 12 OS. Where it loses out on is R5 Gen 2’s 35 hour battery life in the Class AB mode, which is unbeatable in the DAP segment. The UI experience of R6 III is much better and it definitely comes across as the more premium feeling DAP.

Sound wise, R6 III has a richer sound signature, one that comes across as more refined with natural and smoother transients. It has a slightly more open soundstage with very slightly wider width and deeper depth and a slightly blacker background. It has better left to right separation as well as better depth layering and resolution.

HiBy R6 2020. 

Snapdragon 660 | Dual ES9038Q2M | 1080p Display | 4500 mAh |Android 9 | 750mW & 250mW power

R6 III and R6 2020 look almost identical as R6 III is an update of R6 2020. Specs wise, R6 III has a newer 665 SoC, Android 12 vs R6 2020’s Android 9 and dual amp modes (Class A & AB) while its 720p display is almost as sharp as R6 2020’s 1080p display. Inclusion of two amp modes has reduced R6 III’s power output figures significantly on paper, almost half of R6 2020’s, but they’re not as drastically different in real world usage and R6 III is able to power high impedance headphone like HD6XX quite easily. When it comes to UI and usage, R6 III is a significant upgrade over the R6 2020 because of the much newer Android 12 based HiBy OS. R6 III much more fun and attractive to use in comparison.

Sound wise, R6 III sounds slightly more refined, with smoother transients and slightly better, more natural tonality. Soundstage feels slightly more rounded, with deeper depth and I perceive slightly better depth layering too. The differences in power output figures aren’t realised as significantly in real world usage and I’ve been using R6 III with demanding headphones like HD6XX, DCA Open and Closed X with no issues.

HiBy R6 III + Softears RSV


R6 III is a DAP that is versatile like a jack of all trades, perfectly good for its asking price, but not one that can give the higher segment DAPs like the DX240, M6U or the newly launched R6 Pro II (which I’ve recently received and had a quick listen of) a run for their money. It is hard to fault for its price in most categories, especially ergonomics, fast UI and up to date software specs, which even some more expensive DAPs haven’t nailed yet! Its stock sound signature is very smooth, natural and versatile with Class A adding in some well rounded analog flavour but some might find its smooth and easy going tonality missing some vibrancy and energy that more resolving reference class DAPs have. If $500 is the max budget you have, R6 III is the safest DAP you can buy and features like the MSEB SystemWide customisation ability add on greatly to its value proposition over other DAPs at its price point as most other DAPs don’t have anything like it. All the things combined make R6 III an easy recommendation at the $500 mark.

Gear used for testing and review.

  • IEMs – Softears RS10 CIEM & RSV, 64 Audio U12t, Custom Art FIBAE 5 and Symphonium Audio Helios.
  • Headphones – Sennheiser HD 6XX and DROP + DCA Aeon Closed X.
  • DAPs – HiBy R6 2020 & R5 Gen 2, iBasso DX240 and Shanling M6U.

Artists I like and listen to.

  • Rock – Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, Switchfoot, Imagine Dragons, Daughtry, Green Day, MuteMath, X Ambassadors, Dave Matthews Band, Vertical Horizon, Our Lady Peace, Lifehouse, Fall Out Boy, Breaking Benjamin, Muse, ACDC, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Biffy Clyro, I Am Giant, Normandie, Paramore, Slash & Guns N Roses, 3 Doors Down.
  • Pop Rock – John Mayer, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, James Bay, Hunter Hayes, Niall Horan, Keith Urban, The Bros Landreth, Bryan Adams.
  • Progressive Rock/Metal – Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Karnivool, Tool, Dead Letter Circus, Periphery, Lamb of God.
  • Pop/Soft Rock – Ed Sheeran, Adele, Taylor Swift, OneRepublic, The Script, Gavin James, Magic Man, Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Oasis, Panic! At the Disco, TwentyOne Pilots.
  • EDM – Chainsmokers, Zedd.

One thought on “HiBy R6 III and CR06

  1. 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

    Liked by 1 person

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