HiBy R4

$369 $399

HiBy Music's new Android 12 R4 discrete Class A music player is just such an example, being whatever you want it to be – a pocket rocket compact travel companion or beginner DAP. 

We've seen this before: just HiBy pushing the boundaries of what's capable at the very top, but also at the bottom. Built on four low-power consumption ESS Technology DACs and two dedicated word clocks, pocket rockets like R4 – at this price – were what Head-Fi used to dream about.

Able to decode streams off Spotify, Hi-Res Lossless Apple Music, Tidal and whatever you could download from HiBy's open Android Google Play Store, R4 is an affordable audiophile's dream. It goes right onto Headfonia's Recommended Buys list and into Audiophile-Heaven's Hall of Fame. It punches above its weight to Headfonics.

"R4 punches well above its weight, while elevating music playback and user experience beyond anything else I’ve personally used in this price range" says The Headphone List.

That fidelity flows on to be translated into difficult, committed audiophile IEM loads too. Eschewing the de rigueur op-amps that you've gotten blaissé about – the ones that other manufacturers fit even into their mid-tier players – HiBy asks you to choose R4's superior discrete Class A output stage instead. [See Product Desc. For More]

$399

Our Price | $369

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Product Description

For an entry-level player, working with high open-loop performance before feedback is applied is no mean feat ... not to mention being able to handle considerable current and provide actual power into low-impedance IEMs.

Distortion always remains low when you're listening, helped by its amplifier's Class A operation. 16 output transistors are fully biased to achieve their most linear open-loop operation, ensuring an accurate reproduction of your music without the excessive use of negative feedback. 

This means that the increasingly low impedances of modern IEMs will be dealt with adequately. R4's output devices are truly capable of handling current and outputting up to 525 milliwatts of power – it's not a player that will lose composure dealing with loads from Empire Ears and Vision Ears.

Picking this HiBy up quickly on the go does not mean sacrificing fidelity. Using op-amps would have been too easy, and HiBy firmly stick by their discrete amplification guns even at R4's price of entry. It's a level of detail that's paid off in natural, accurate sound, reproducing the detail its quad of ESS ES9018C2M DACs are capable of.

The attention paid to R4's digital decode extends beyond its DACs, its FPGA and dual crystal oscillators – it's in HiBy's desire to split its quad array of chips into two pairs. One pair decodes PCM, and the other DSD. By recognising the completely different requirements in decoding each format, R4 keeps impressing us below the surface.

Specially configuring a pair of its DACs, and their ensuing analog low-pass filters (LPF), means HiBy are in a much better position to bypass DSD's problems and decode the format purely.

R4's DSD decode path benefits greatly from its LPF's stronger rejection of ultrasonic noise, in particular preventing single-rate DSD64's noise problems from contaminating the subsequent signal path.

HiBy might have gone in all in on the consumer market with R4, but that never stopped these innovators from respecting their audiophile roots. It then backs up that distortion and noise performance with all the luxuries that a modern music lover counts on.

Android 12 and Google Play Store's apps run smoothly thanks to a Snapdragon 665 CPU, for up to 11 hours on a single charge.

Seasoned audiophiles needing a compact and rugged travel companion will not find themselves missing their reference DAPs very much at all, given how high R4 gets you up the tree in performance. Similarly, newcomers will be treated to the full audio experience very quickly – and in painless financial manner.

If you've graduated from R4, be sure to check out HiBy's other marvels here too, or view all our other music players here.

Product Specifications

DAC 4 X ESS ES9018C2M
Amp Class A discrete
SNR <124dB
THD <0.0005%

Reviews

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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(2)
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K
King Lee
Great DAP + DAC

As a newbie in the hi-fi game, It has totally changed my perspective of great sound comes with high prices. I am not ready to spend yet but the fact the HiBy R4 indeed performs as good as advertised. Works great even with a pair of Zero:2 IEM that I owned making it more worthwhile. The DAC is also making my music coming out of my MacBook Air even better.

H
How Wei Keong Shaun
hiby r4 review

for such a price point it is fantastic. even better so it runs on android. will be better if there is bluetooth dac.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
King Lee
Great DAP + DAC

As a newbie in the hi-fi game, It has totally changed my perspective of great sound comes with high prices. I am not ready to spend yet but the fact the HiBy R4 indeed performs as good as advertised. Works great even with a pair of Zero:2 IEM that I owned making it more worthwhile. The DAC is also making my music coming out of my MacBook Air even better.

H
How Wei Keong Shaun
hiby r4 review

for such a price point it is fantastic. even better so it runs on android. will be better if there is bluetooth dac.