Wow – what a journey I have had with the HM-901 and thank you if you managed to get to the end of this review without an overnight sleep! It is probably one of the most engaging DAP’s I have used in a while. Last year this DAP was king of the hill in many people’s eyes and in some respect this year the same is true but now with the advent of the AK240 from Astell & Kern at almost double the price and capable of native DSD playback you have to wonder if Hifiman can keep pace given how long it took to get the HM-901 to the market.

However if the amp system has a defined roadmap and new modular cards are in development then I can see the HM series continue to have longevity for the purists as well as eat into the portable headphone amp market given its fine performance with everything from CIEM’s to demanding planers. I just hope future FW’s will continue to expand on the functionality of the Taichi UI and we finally get to see that dock unit in the wild that was promised last year – not that would be something to see!

Links

https://head-direct.com/Products/?act=detail&id=158

Technical Specifications

HM-901

Testing firmware: v1.084 (now superseded by v1.085 as April 9, 2014)
Dimensions: 72mm W* 117mm H* 29mm D
Weight: 250g
Battery life: 9 hours
D/A Chip: ES9018*2
LPF: OPA2107*2, OPA627*2
Headphone Amp Op-amp: AD8397
Frequency response: 20HZ-20KHz
Distortion: 0.008%(Line out)
S/N: 106±4dB
Memory: 128G SD Slot

Standard Amp Module Card

Power supply voltage:±8.2v
Power supply current:±20ma
Maximum balanced output (30R load)
Low Gain 0.96v(30mw) High Gain 2.12v(150mw)
S/N: 109+/-1dB
Frequency response: 20hz-20Khz(-1.2dB)
Output impedance: 1 Ohm

The IEM amp module Card
Power supply voltage:±8.2v
Power supply current:±20ma
Maximum output (30R load)
Low Gain 1v(33mw) High Gain 1.4v(65mw)
S/N 112+/-2dB
Maximum current: +47ma/-47ma +59ma/-59ma
Frequency response: 20hz-20Khz(-0.1dB)
Output impedance: 2 Ohm

The MiniBox amplifier module Card

S/N: 108dB
Frequency response: 20hz-20Khz(-1.2dB)
Output impedance: 1 Ohm

The Balanced amplifier module Card

Power supply voltage:±8.2v Power supply current:±20ma
Maximum balanced output (30R load)
Low Gain 2.32v(179mw) High Gain 3.91v(477mw)
S/N: 112+/-1dB
Frequency response: 20hz-20Khz(-1dB)
Maximum Normal output (30R load)
Low Gain 1.45v(70mw) High Gain 2.5v(200mw) S/N: 109+/-3dB
Frequency response:20hz-20Khz(-1dB)
Output impedance: 1 Ohm

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6 Responses

  1. kt66

    Great review of a great player – thanks – try it with Minibox and DT1350

    Reply
    • headfonics

      Thanks – love that Minibox card. At first I was like what the heck is it and why make it but as you mentioned on-ear and IEM really benefit from what it can do.

      Reply

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