HiBy FC4 Review——headfonics


Today, we review the new HiBy FC4 which is a dongle-type portable amplifier/DAC with up to DSD256 decoding, MQA, and 340mW of output power. It is priced at $99.

Disclaimer: This is a sample sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links. We thank HiBy Music for this opportunity. 

You can click here to learn more about HiBy products that we have previously covered on our website.

Note, that this feature follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read here.

HiBy FC4 Review
I don’t consider the HiBy FC4 to be a downgrade from specs alone or from the FC5 because it outdoes the FC5 in some areas. The FC5 might be a more tonally refined dongle but the differences are minuscule and the extra power output of the FC4 makes up for it.

HiBy just celebrated the fourth-year anniversary of their online store but they have been in operation since 2011, originally in software but now with an extensive hardware lineup.

To me, HiBy’s hardware forte now lies within their DAPs such as the RS6 but they make everything from cable assemblies, IEMs, and portable amplifiers. They also make dongle DACs just to name a few items they offer on their website.

The HiBy FC5 has been used in a few comparisons here after our main review because it’s a model that competes well in the vast sea of similar dongle DACs available today.

Right below the FC5 sits the FC4 which is somewhat similar to the FC5 in some minuscule ways but with a lower cost and a couple of addendums.

HiBy FC4 Review
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Both the FC4 and the FC5 share similar DAC chips. The difference lies in that the FC4 employs two ESS ES9218 chips in place of the FC5’s ES9281PRO chips which according to ESS technologies fall in a higher category and are considered top-tier chips. They should have very similar sonic characteristics.


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