RS8 follows in RS6's footsteps converting PCM and DSD via separate DARWIN II circuit paths, doing so for the former ala typical R2R – NOS (non-oversampling).
READ ALSO How HiBy's DARWIN set the standard
That's double the feat because the precision demanded in exact resistor values – for the buttery, natural and resolving ability that R2R DAC topology is known for – goes up.
DARWIN II doubles the individual resistors originally found in DARWIN, making the most of its chassis space to line up 184 high-precision resistors to work the Most Significant Bits and Least Significant Bits of your music better.
DARWIN II's linearity improves as a result and its capacity to reproduce micro-detail from small signal levels sees a dynamic range improvement of 15dB in RS8.
Lovers of reference sound need not fret, however, with the ability to switch PCM decoding from NOS to oversampling mode for the cleanest possible result. That scrubs any last distortion and artifacts beyond the audible human hearing range, via proprietary DARWIN II digital filters implemented aboard RS8's FPGA.
At the signal processing stage, HiBy make the distinction between PCM and DSD, because RS8 separately converts the latter with the most purity ever encountered in a portable device till date. Instead of pre-conversion to PCM as many other off-the-shelf DAC chips do, RS8 preserves the original DSD file throughout the process.
Believe it: HiBy decode natively in DSD's true 1-bit process. RS8 calls for a simple low-pass filter for the purest, most elegant portable DSD conversion that preserves the simplicity of the process and original waveform.
Amidst minimal digital filtering, the format's analog-like goodness gets delivered unmolested to your ears.
RS8's dedicated and separate R2R PCM and DSD circuit paths mean you stand to enjoy the best sound you thought possible from either form – impossible to this extent, till now.
The final product goes through an analog volume control before reaching the output amp, for preservation of your music's true resolution, and that very special, discrete, native DSD decode.
HiBy's reckoning has been in developing wonderfully innovative hardware free of any prior ceiling. And with RS8's R2R DARWIN II digital circuit only as good as its analog output stage, HiBy capitalise on the extra board space to mount a massive discrete headphone amplifier.
Large power rails see operating voltages rise as high as 7.5 volts, the linearity of eight dual bipolar transistors outputting in parallel assured as a result. RS8's discrete headphone amplifier can be operated in Class AB or an optimal
Differentiating itself from even other flagships that cling to op-amp layouts seeking THX-certification but with inordinate amounts of gain and feedforward/feedback, HiBy's linearity remains excellent already in the open-loop, owing to its high operating voltages and bias.
Those ensure individual transistors are working in optimum condition. Distortion and noise are kept low, without resorting to the excessive use of negative feedback.
HiBy designed a true-balanced differential amplifier to further improve RS8's linearity, and you can count on common-mode rejection at its best whenever you plug in via 4.4mm preserving DARWIN II's resolution. It's an output stage that's DC-coupled to improve low-frequency performance, and RS8 audibly plumbs the lowest bass depths.
Eight output transistors ensure immense current-handling for good reason, to reap the full benefit of RS8's separate power supplies for analog and digital sections. The former is particularly massive and incorporates inductors that store huge energy in a magnetic field before releasing on demand to HiBy's Class A amplifier.
Superior even to super capacitors due to their low DC resistance, these inductors constitute a massive power supply that ensures RS8 relishes as much pushing low-impedance
Empire Ears Odins and EVOs as it will driving Focal's Utopia 2022.
RS8 is digital, analog and power supply design excellence par none that will serve you for years to come as numerous firmware updates carry new code teaching HiBy's FPGA new tricks.
And Android 12 OS mounted on top of a Snapdragon 665 CPU promises stable, snappy operating streaming 16X MQA via Tidal Masters, full resolution Apple Music Hi-Res Lossless, and Spotify.
If Head-Fi had been looking at what the future had to offer, then HiBy have decisively provided us with dreams that are made out of RS8. Also check out HiBy's RS6
here, all of HiBy's releases here, or view our other music players here.