HiBy R3 II Review — Headfonics


We review the HiBy R3 II, which is a 2nd-generation pocket-sized HiBy OS digital audio player offering up to DSD256 and 380mW of output power. It is priced at $179 MSRP.

Disclaimer: This sample was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links. We thank HiBy for their support.

You can click here to read more about the HiBy products that we have previously featured on our website.

Note, that this article follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read in more detail here.

Since the introduction of the first-generation HiBy R3, it has seen several upgrades, including the R3 Pro in 2019 and the recent Sabre model at the end of last year.

Now, HiBy has unveiled a true 2nd generation version called the R3 II, which builds upon the clean design of its predecessors while introducing exciting new features, offering 16x unfold for MQA, a physical volume knob, as well as extended playback time of up to 15 hours.

With its versatility as a dongle and digital audio source, the R3 II is certainly feature-packed, earning it the nickname, “Music Treasure Box”.

Advantages of DAP HiBy R3 II



The R3 II is equipped with dual ESS SABRE ES9219C DAC chips, which are considered mid-tier and comparable to the AKM AK4490 found in devices like the Shanling M3X.

It supports decoding up to DSD256 and PCM up to 32BIT/384kHz, with the ability to output audio signals through its USB-C interface. To enhance jitter control, the R3 II features two embedded oscillators clocked at 45.1584MHz and 49.152MHz.


The 4.4mm balanced output delivers a maximum output of 380mW at a 32 ohm load, which is comparable to some mid-range DAPs and outperforms many dongles.

Its balanced output provides a clearly more powerful output of 3.5 Vrms, while the 3.5mm single-ended output reaches a maximum of 1.9 Vrms and 112 mW on a 32Ω load.

The dynamic range averages 115dB, and the signal-to-noise ratio is 119dB for both outputs. Notably, the separation is 74 dB on the single-ended output and 103 dB on the balanced output, as per official information.



The R3 II takes design inspiration from the earlier R6 model and features an aluminum frame, which contributes to its lightweight construction, weighing just 118g.

It incorporates a bit rate indicator on the side and a prominent volume knob that also serves as the on/off button, reminiscent of the Astell & Kern AK100’s layout.

The indicator bar on the R3 II remains illuminated at all times and changes color to indicate different sampling rates during playback, enhancing the device’s aesthetic appeal.

The top of the device features a 3.2″ 320*480 touch panel, which, although not very dense in terms of pixel density by today’s standards, is sufficient for music playback.

The back of the device is covered with a curved piece of glass. Despite its lightweight design, the R3 II manages to incorporate a 2000mAh battery, providing a playback time of 16 hours.

The package includes a jelly case that exposes the volume knob and allows the indicator LED to shine through. The user interface is designed to optimize the screen size, allowing for easy single-handed scrolling through different screens.

The R3 II is available in three color options: Red, Silver, and Black. The red variant is particularly appealing, while the black option exudes a stealthy and professional look. The silver option bears a resemblance to the original R6 model and looks cleanest.

HiBy R3 II DPA 2

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