- All new DARWIN architecture
- Discrete NOS R2R DAC and amplification
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB internal storage
- Up to 2TB expandable via mSD
- Large 5'' 1080p display
- Open Android 9 OS
- Direct Transport Architecture
- USB DTA (bitperfect USB audio)
- 16x MQA unfolding
- 3.5mm & 4.4mm dual headphone ports
- 3.5mm & 4.4mm dual line out ports
- 2.4G & 5G dual band WiFi
- Bluetooth 5 (Rx/Tx)
Without pulling any punches, the HiBy RS6 heralds a new dawn for DAPs.
It is the first-ever DAP built on relatively current hardware and an open Android software platform that features a fully discrete non-oversampling resistor ladder (R2R) DAC. This is a significant technical achievement given the inherent difficulty of engineering discrete R2R technology into a device the size of a deck of cards – especially considering all the other components that need to fit in alongside the actual DAC.
But overcoming technical hurdles is one thing; what most DAP buyers care about is how good it sounds, and how well it performs the various tasks a modern Android DAP should be able to perform. In that regard, the achievement is arguably even more impressive, because frankly, the RS6 aces both.
You may already be familiar with other HiBy DAPs like the R8 and R6 2020, both of which have essentially the same hardware and software platform (other than the new R2R-related stuff), in which case feel free to skim over the big chunk of the review that covers the software, and make your way to the Sound Impressions section.
But if you’re entirely new to Android DAPs in general and HiBy in particular, I encourage you to read through the Setup and Software and Personalising the RS6 sections in more detail, as I feel that’s where a large part of the value of the RS6 ‘experience’ resides. We can always debate the importance of the experience of using a DAP later, but in my opinion, it goes hand-in-hand with sound quality and IEM pairing.