HiBy R2 II Review: A New Entry-Level HiFi Digital Audio Player

In the era of small tails and Bluetooth headsets, the value of entry-level players seems to have been weakened; in order to pursue more powerful audio performance and improve battery life, many player brands have focused on the development of large-sized players. On high-end players, we seem to have returned to the era of big bricks. Since the end of last year, the “handheld device” seems to be full of vitality again, and several new products have been released in the circle, such as HiBy R2 II.

I think back to the original R2. When it first came out, it formed a “small suit” with the FD1 DAC amp integrated machine with basically the same body shape, and Beans earplugs. The sound of this entry-level three-piece set is relatively solid, and it has also attracted the attention of many audiophiles who were just getting started at that time. Time has passed, and after evolving to the second generation, R2 II met us with a “solo” attitude. It happened that I also lacked a small player that I could carry in my pocket and go out with. Seeing that the price was less than 600 yuan, I bought one directly.


Through the experience of HiBy R2 II, I also share with you my understanding of a qualified “audio player”~

The packaging of the R2 II is relatively small. Apart from the main body of the machine, there are not many accessories inside, that is, a water jacket, a data cable, and a spare screen film. In terms of R2 II’s positioning, it is unlikely to equip it with too luxurious accessories. I personally think that the water-clear case made of transparent plastic is not low in actual use. If the official silicone case can be used, it may be more durable; in addition, if there is a back clip that allows us to clip it to the clothes, then better.

Design and Appearance

Since it is called a “handheld device”, it must not be too big, and it is best for me to control it with one hand. The overall size of the HiBy R2 II is 71mm*63.1mm*12.4mm, slightly larger than the previous generation, but still within the range that can be fully held with one hand; the weight is only about 70g.

The workmanship of this little device is not bad, and it is not rough because it is positioned at the entry level. The R2 II I have in hand is white. The delicate frosted shell feels soft to the touch. The design of the front and rear double-sided glass also improves the appearance of the machine a lot. Speaking of which, starting from Haibei Music’s first player, the R6 with an all-stainless steel cut curved body, their player’s appearance, and workmanship has always been online, even if it is the cheapest R2 II. Still not falling.

Compared with the appearance design of the first generation R2, the biggest change of the R2 II comes from the buttons: the original volume button is two jogging buttons, but the HiBy R2 II has been changed to a silver scroll wheel protruding from the right edge, and it is similar to the “three king kong” buttons. “Key” is located on the same side. After actual experience, when holding it with the right hand, you can use your thumb to take care of the touch screen, adjust the volume, control playback, and other operations.

The R2 II uses the HiByOS pure tone system, in addition to its audio functions as a player, as an external decoding amp for a computer or mobile phone, as a digital audio turntable to connect to a decoding amp, etc., it also has a student repeater and an e-book reader. functions such as Its battery life is very long, and the battery life can reach about 13 hours when listening to music normally, and it is not a big problem to charge it once every two days. During use, the fuselage did not overheat significantly.

Sound Quality

Before listening to the HiBy R2 II, I was actually mentally prepared for “the sound is likely to compromise the price”. After all, we have listened to a lot of players at this price in the past, and I think it is basically successful if we can support the sound frame.

The earplugs used to match R2 II this time are Sennheiser IE 200. The sound of this thousand-yuan “popular fried chicken” has strong cohesion and solid quality, and the overall focus is on the bottom plate performance; its earmuffs can be adjusted to the “standard position” or “open position”, and I adjusted it to the “standard position” this time. to test. The R2 II is only equipped with a single-ended output port, and I turned on the high gain all the way to test it.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the R2 II has a relatively sound base. Its sound is in a solid structure, the length deviation is not too large, and there is no serious lack of feeling in each part. Its timbre tends to be plain and white, without the flattery and gaudyness common to some equipment of the same price. Instead, it faithfully restores the flavor of the music itself in a more direct way.

In terms of the tri-band, the HiBy R2 II has aggravated the middle and bottom plate on the whole without losing balance. Its low frequency achieves a balance between quality and quantity, has good flexibility, converges faster, and does not boom. The proportion of the intermediate frequency is relatively close to that of the low frequency, with a certain thickness, and the position of the human voice is moderate.

The biggest surprise of R2 II’s quality comes from the shaping of the sense of space. As an entry-level player, the dynamics of the R2 II are quite good, not inferior to some advanced price equipment; although the sound field is not particularly wide, it can be called regular, especially the vertical direction that is often overlooked by many equipments of the same level The sound field also has a certain distance. Compared with the small tail at the same price, the quality frame of R2 II is more stable and solid.

Of course, if you compare the R2 II with players priced at two or three thousand, the gap obviously still exists. First of all, in terms of resolution and separation, the R2 II is not outstanding; second, the sound of the R2 II lacks a bit of moisture as a whole, which makes its sound appeal slightly insufficient. But in general, the performance of R2 II still exceeds my estimate for a portable player within 1,000 yuan.

Today, it is estimated that many friends, after experiencing some good small tails, think that equipment of this level like the HiBy R2 II is of little significance. There is no difference in sound either.

This argument is not entirely without merit. However, based on my personal experience, I still prefer to go out with a “handheld” rather than a small tail. Firstly, the R2 II can be used as an external “big tail”, and the function covers the small tail; secondly, the sound of the two is still different. If you compare the R2 II with the small tail at the same price Compared with the overall quality and purity of the sound, the advantages are quite obvious; thirdly, a good tail is also a mobile phone “battery killer” to some extent, and I really don’t want to add a burden to the mobile phone battery.

In addition to using IE 200 this time, I also chose two plugs of different grades to match with R2 II to test the adaptability of R2 II. One is Darinco Kima, whose price is relatively close to that of R2 II, and the price of the two is more in line with the psychological expectations of many friends when they first started burning; the other is the flagship V14 of $1500, which is used to maximize the excavation The potential of R2 II.

The sound presented by the combination of Kima and R2 II is quite delicate and lively, and its thick mid-range is particularly ear-catching. This combination is my personal preference and recommendation. Although the comprehensive performance in terms of hard quality is not particularly outstanding, its sound performance is quite good, with distinctive features. It is very suitable for listening to female vocals with relatively thin vocal lines.

V14 has four sets of adjustable tone levers, which is very playable. With all the tuning levers kept closed, the combination of V14 and HiBy R2 II takes a more reductive route, and the performance in the middle and low frequencies is relatively better; the quality is acceptable, but the R2 II can’t let the V14 exerts its advantages of the strong resolution, large and uniform density.

After a round of matching, it should be said that the driving force of R2 II is enough to make these plugs make a healthy sound, and there is indeed a gap in the driving effect compared with those big “bricks”. After all, the R2 II is only equipped with a single-ended output, and the output power itself is not high. It is a little bit reluctant to count on a small horse-drawn cart.

But what is commendable about the R2 II is that it can restore the sound frame and style characteristics of the stopper without making a bad sound. In terms of style adaptability, the R2 II with a neutral sound is not “picky”. If we use R2 II to drive the plug we are familiar with, basically, we can still understand its original strength and warmth, and the rest is nothing more than a question of how much quality has been exerted. For a “handheld device,” that’s a job well done.


Then again, who is a “handheld device” like the R2 II suitable for? In addition to enthusiasts like me who fully consider the portable travel scene, for some enthusiasts who are just getting started and have a low budget, as well as the general public who like to listen to music, such as student parties and office workers, a TV that takes into account the appearance to a large extent Value, portability, function, sound, and other elements, and at the same time, small devices with affordable prices are obviously more attractive than many mid-to-high-end devices.

Perhaps this level of player has some “toy” properties in the eyes of some people, but for more people, it carries all the needs of music and leisure in life. In a sense, the HiBy R2 II, a “handheld device”, is no less meaningful than the big guys.

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