HiBy R5 Portable Music Player Now Available in US – Best Mid-Range DAP?

HiBy’s latest mid-range portable digital audio player is the HiBy R5 music player. It sits right in between the HiBy R6 Pro and the HiBy R3. It offers a balance between specs, features and great audio quality at a more affordable price range. It’s not just a music player, it’s a “smart” audio player. It runs on a fully open Android 8.1 operating system and the unit itself is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC. At the heart of its audio department lies two Cirrus Logic DAC chips in a dual DAC configuration; resulting in a clean and clear audio quality. I think this is one of the best mid-range DAPs released this year. You definitely need to check it out, especially if you are an audio enthusiast like me looking for a newer or better mid-range DAP. The HiBy R5 is now available in the US, you can check out the rest of its features, specs, price and availability below.

HiBy R5 Best Mid-Range DAP

HiBy R5 Hi-Res Portable DAP – Features

Right off the bat, the HiBy R5 features two Cirrus Logic CS43198 DAC chips in a dual DAC configuration. It features a direct transport architecture, meaning that it bypasses the Android’s sample rate conversion. The DAC chip also features “MasterHIFI” and “SmartHIFI” to deliver the best performance and clarity in its segment. The Snapdragon 425 SoC is paired with 2GB of memory only. So, you can’t expect to go crazy with this DAPs or open multiple apps at the same time.

With its open Android 8.1 OS, users can install apps and other music player. You can also install apps like Tidal and other supported streaming apps. Aside from the dual CS43198 DAC chips, the HiBy R5 also features dual crystal oscillators dedicated to 45.1584MHz and 49.152MHz; for low-jitter performance at any sample rate. It also features what the company calls “Ultra Audio Transmission”; an all-new Bluetooth audio codec developed in-house by HiBy, supporting sample rate of 192kHz. Its Bluetooth also acts as a transmitter and receiver, with support for a two-way LDAC transmission. Of course, it does have WiFi 2.4GHz/5GHz for installing apps, updating software/apps, and just about anything you can do with a WiFi connection.

HiBy R5 Specs and Connectivity

For those who are not a fan of wireless connection, the HiBy R5 features the standard single-ended unbalanced 3.5mm audio out (also acts as a line out) and a 4.4mm balanced output. The balanced output is capable of up to 1040mW + 1040mW @ 16Ω and 564mW + 564mW @ 32Ω. And for those who want to use the R5 with their PC or laptop, the R5 has a USB-DAC functionality. Meaning, you can use the R5 as you PC’s external DAC. It also features a nice 4-inch touch screen IPS display with a resolution of 540×1080 (300 pixels per inch density). The display is not as good as the R6 Pro, but definitely it is still very much acceptable.

As for storage, it has 16GB of internal storage and 1 microSD card slot that can support up to 512GB of microSDXC card. The R5 is powered by a 3500mAh rechargeable battery and can last up to 11 hours in balanced mode (4.4mm out) or up to 18 hours in single-ended (3.5mm out). It does support Qualcomm’s QuickCharge 3.0 so it doesn’t take that long to recharge this DAP, unlike older and other DAPs that doesn’t support a QuickCharge feature.

HiBy R5 Portable Music Player

HiBy R5 Sound Quality

The HiBy R5 music player is a mid-range DAP, so don’t expect top of the line audio quality with this one. Nevertheless, it still produces hi-res audio quality that is (much) better compared to entry level music players in the market. Generally speaking, it sounds linear and neutral. Its sound characteristics seems to be that on the middle ground, where neither high or lows are (a bit) emphasized. It does have a touch of warmth to avoid being analytical or dry.

Instrument separation is good; the instruments doesn’t sound lumped or stack together. However, soundstage is just okay, not that wide and it sounds a bit more intimate and forward sounding rather than wide and open. Thanks to its dual DAC configuration, there is very little to no background noise at all. Depending on the sensitivity of IEM you use, hiss may be non-existent or inaudible. It has a very low noise floor resulting in a clean and clear sound reproduction; very much sufficient for you to enjoy the music alone.

HiBy R5 Price and Availability

The HiBy R5 DAP is now available in the US. It comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $399 USD. It’s available in Black, Gold, and Grey. Meanwhile, the R6 Pro and the R3 are priced at $699 and $199 respectively. So, it’s really the mid-range DAP from the company with a “mid-range price”. You can see the latest pricing and availability via the link below.

HiBy R5 Specifications

Operating SystemAndroid 8.1
SoCSnapdragon 425
No. of CPU Cores4
CPU Max Frequency1.4GHz
DACCS43198 x 2
Input MethodTouchscreen
WIFI5GHz/2.4GHz, supports IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n protocols
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2
USBTypeC (USB2.0 data rate)
Display Size4.0 inches
Colors16 million colors
Internal Storage16GB
External StorageUp tp 512GB + via 1 micro SD card
Buttons6 physical buttons
Buttons DefinitionsPower, Previous, Pause, Next, Volume Up, Volume Down
Headphone Out3.5mm
Balanced Headphone Out4.4mm
Line Out3.5mm LO
Balanced Out4.4mm LO
Digital OutSPDIF (USB out)
Dimensions107.7mm x 61.2mm x 15.6mm
Headphone Impedance Range16~300Ω
EQ Adjustments10 bands (±12dB)
Channel BalanceL 10dB to R 10dB
Gain LevelLow / High
Power Supply9V/1.5A
Charge Time2H
Charge ProtocolQC3.0
Firmware UpdateOver-the-air update
Text SizeAjustable
3rd Party AppsUnrestricted access via Google Play and apk download

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