HiBy R6 PRO II review


"HiBy, are you bent?" - HiBy R6 PRO II Portable Music Player.

I've noticed that straight guys are actually quite simple creatures. There are only three possible outcomes when they "grow up" - they either become jaded, continue to be straight and end up alone, or become even more "bent". Now, when I say "bent" I don't mean anything like changing from 1 to 0 or something. What I mean by "bent" is...

Let me put it this way. In "Fist of Fury", Mr. Chen was asked by Master Funakochi: "Young man, tell me what is the strongest punch?" And Chen answered, "The strongest punch is the one that concentrates all the power into one point and unleashes it." He then demonstrated by punching through a stone block with his words. Funakochi commented, "That was an impressive display, but I've never seen a stone block that fights back. Remember, our opponents are human beings."

In fact, this passage is quite philosophical. In the past, if you had asked someone about the best portable music player, they might have answered, "Give it maximum output power! The best quality components! And produce the most scientifically perfect sound curve!" It's a very straight-forward way of thinking, typical of straight men. Of course, this path is not wrong, because achieving these three things is not easy, and those who did achieve them worked hard and deserved recognition.

However, in recent years, HiBy, this "straight" brand, has surprisingly produced several "musical" players that not only have high output power and quality components but also pay more attention to sound and subjective listening experience. It's interesting. I'm not sure if it's because of HiBy's close friend, Cayin, or if they've come up with more ideas and ambitions after experimenting with R2R technology?

In short, when HiBy R6 PRO II added the line "Product design philosophy changed - rejecting excessive force and no longer blindly pursuing power" to their presentation, I could be reasonably sure that this brand has "bent" - not just in the sense of a product's malfunction or denial, but truly bent from their mouths to their hearts. This is a good thing. It's like a boy realizing that "I can't just assume that I'm treating her well and self-righteously, she has to feel that I am genuinely kind to her." The brand has truly realized what's important.

In terms of appearance, many people were shocked this time. Although some may find the purple color scheme of the Thanos edition eye-catching and cool, there will certainly be others who feel that the purple is too aggressive and not to their liking - but it doesn't matter. What's important is that HiBy has started to change. When a brick starts to have curved lines on the back, when a brand shows growth and transformation from the inside out, it's always a pleasing sight to see. At least, its future is no longer easily guessed, and its story now has many more possibilities.

The R6 and R6 PRO series are undoubtedly the backbone of this brand, playing a role, inappropriately said, similar to that of the 3 Series in BMW. After all, this brand was originally built on this series. Previous 6 series products can be classified as "the representative with the most output power and quality among players of the same price and positioning". Coupled with the growing maturity of the HiBy system and the increasing richness of its features, if you spend a few thousand yuan to buy a HiBy 6 series product, I can't guarantee that you will be particularly addicted to the sound, but you will at least feel that it is worth spending your money on. It's powerful enough to drive low-impedance headphones and even some high-impedance headphones.

As for the protagonist of this article, the HiBy R6 PRO II, after listening to it for several hours over a few days (yes, I recommend burning it in for 100 hours - there is a feeling of insufficient capacitance running in when first turned on), I found that its basic tone is still "the representative with the most output power and quality among players of the same price and positioning" - it uses the luxurious configuration of AK4191+ Dual AK4499EX, outputs in MONO mode, and has a completely separated digital and analog circuit. It supports high specifications such as DSD1024, PCM1536, and MQA16X, as well as ALLIN audio architecture, independent power supply, and an NDK femtosecond crystal oscillator. On the hardware side, it has a big battery, Corning Gorilla Glass 5.9-inch screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, and the much-loved A and AB headphone amplifiers... In short, when it comes to performance, now domestic brands have surpassed foreign brands that can't compete in this regard.

To put it simply, if you want to buy a player with the highest possible value for money, then the HiBy R6 PRO II is definitely worth considering. It has extremely high completeness, very comprehensive features, and a particularly nice price-performance ratio. On top of that, it has an eye-catching design and a great grip feel, and comes with an interesting leather case inside the package - which is described as having a "split seam" on the back because the player itself is "curved", making it easy to remove and insert. This attention to detail is evident, demonstrating how thoughtful the design is (hence, the "curved" player).

Additionally, the interface is also designed in purple. If you download the app, you will find that the commonly used music apps also follow this color scheme, without any visual inconsistencies on the home screen.

In terms of sound, let's start with the driving force. HiBy's machines have always had great driving force. With the R6 PRO II, my previous practice of using the middle gain setting to drive most earbuds no longer seems appropriate. After trying it out, using the A-class amplifier + low gain is already good enough for most earbuds, while the middle gain is for buds with slightly higher driving force, including some dynamic coil ones, and the high gain is only for earphones and headphones with very high demanding driving force. From this you can see how powerful HiBy's previous products have been. The performance is definitely excessive, so you don't have to worry about their driving force.

Next is the soundstage, which is very spacious and round. It's full of sound and presence. Compared to the company's own top-level RS8, it is certainly one circle smaller, but compared to competitors in the 5K price range, the soundstage is still very spacious and atmospheric, with a slight feeling at the edges and noticeable outdoor feeling. With this in mind, the layering and positioning are both very good and standard, but it does not provide a precise experience or a clean background impression because the sound of HiBy R6 PRO II is not purely delicate or high quality. It does not overly emphasize these aspects on the listening experience, which is enough to be good and standard.

Aside from the soundstage and driving force, what impresses people most about the HiBy R6 PRO II is its overall sound expression, which is different from the sharp and vigorous style of its previous models. This generation of HiBy R6 PRO II aims to provide a "combined emotional and intellectual" feeling to music expression. Speaking of which, let's take a step further. What do many of us imagine the best listening environment to be? It is a large room with very sophisticated acoustics, and hundreds of thousands of high-quality equipment and speakers with the best power, wires, as well as sources like first-edition vinyl records and CD discs. In general, the sound is very clean and free from interference, which is truly enjoyable!

However, this kind of environment is rare. You cannot find it even at audio exhibitions because they are usually held in hotel rooms, with poor acoustic treatments. In China, there are very few places where you can experience such an environment.

In fact, even when we go to live music concerts, the environment is often far from perfect. Not to mention the annoying fact that the cellphone in the next seat is not put on silent mode, the background noises of the actual location and the sounds of the real instruments are not really pure and perfect in any way. This is the reality. Therefore, I feel that this machine's sense of atmosphere does not overly focus on purity and background smoothness. It is limited by its price range, but this is also done deliberately. It aims to create a vibrant atmosphere.

First of all, the low frequency response is filled with liveliness and vigor. It is even the fourth time I have heard a distinct sense of texture on HiBy's equipment (the previous three were R5, R5II, FC6). There is a sense of realism and coarseness, as well as full-bodiedness in the low frequency description, which tends to focus on the overall atmosphere and relaxation, rather than overly emphasizing speed and focus. Of course, this does not mean it's slow or sluggish. HiBy cannot afford to be clumsy. It has simply changed itself, giving a more charming and rich low frequency that is both realistic and introspective, making it quite intriguing.

The mid-frequency also exhibits impressive texture, provided that the density and separation are strong. Compared to HiBy's previous tuning, this mid-frequency makes it easier to capture the singer's emotions and infect audiences with a fuller and more robust sound. At first listen, it may not seem as delicate or smooth, but there is a lot of realism added to it, and the overall texture is bigger and not "thin-bodied" anymore. This moderate richness and coarseness are an interesting evolution. Of course, when I was listening, I mainly used Class A headphone amplifiers, so this feeling would be even stronger.

The high frequency range is very broad, which is also a side effect of its praised soundstage. It is expansive without being harsh, no longer sharp as a heavenly sword unsheathed, but more like an inherently quiet and soothing sky. Moreover, the information conveyed in the high frequencies is quite impressive. The details are held tightly, and in this price range, this kind of high-frequency response is already a top-notch answer, unless you prefer a sharp style. Additionally, it is not greasy or oily, the expression is quite objective and cautious.

From the perspective of pairing with earphones, if paired with earphones that have a more masculine sound profile, the HiBy R6 PRO II may exhibit a "manlier than man" effect, tending towards roughness and lacking some smoothness. However, if paired with earphones that already emphasize linearity or smoothness, it will complement each other and create a more perfect effect. Of course, we cannot exclude personal preferences here. As a front-end device, the foundation, quality, and flexibility of the HiBy R6 PRO II are all excellent.

Overall, the HiBy R6 PRO II is destined to occupy a special position in the history of the HiBy brand. Its appearance breaks with family traditions, while its sound has taken a big step in a new direction. It still has great drive, quality, and soundstage, but it clearly focuses more on tonality, texture, and granularity, no longer blindly pursuing loudness and power, but instead aiming to provide comfortable and enjoyable listening experiences with more warmth, fullness, and endurance across all frequency ranges. The market will determine how much recognition this style change will receive but its self-breakthrough, boldness, undeniable value-for-money, and impressive appearance are beyond doubt. The world is changing, and we are changing with it. I look forward to witnessing all of this and the new journey it will take us on~