Select Comparisons

HiBy R3



The R3 is smaller, lighter, and costs a bit less at $229. It uses a single ES9028Q2M DAC as compared to the R5’s dual CS43198 chip implementation and has an output power rating of a maximum 112mW+112mW in balanced mode 2.5mm TRRS. It can decode up to native DSD256 and PCM 384kHz/32bit as well as handling MQA with a recent firmware update.

The R5 is a monster compared to the R3 for output power at 564mW+564mW on a 32Ω load using 4.4mm. It can also decode up to DSD256 and PCM 384kHz/32bit.

The R3 also has no onboard memory whereas the R5 has 16GB. Battery life on the tiny 1600mAh R3 is pretty good actually at around 8-9 hours (closer to 7 for me under heavy usage). However, the R5’s 3500mAh Li-polymer using Quick Charge 3.0 (QC3.0) technology will last longer, with a rated spec of 11-18 hours balanced or unbalanced. Just be warned, the R5 does get hotter under heavy usage compared to the R3.

HiBy Music R3


The R3 uses HiBy’s own OS compared to the open Android Oreo 8.1 of the R5. The HiBy OS has come a long way in the last few years with excellent functionality such as BT, WiFi, and TIDAL. If anything, you can think of HiBY OS as an expansive HiBy Music app with features such as MSEB, DLNA, and Airplay all available as you would find them in the HiBy Music app.

TIDAL integration is ok on the R3 but not the full experience as you will find on the R5 Android version. The one key TIDAL feature the R3 has right now is MQA compatibility which the R5, right now, does not currently have. I expect the R5 will get it eventually.


The first point is a relatively quick one. The R5 can drive most headphones of an impedance level 32Ω with much better authority than the R3. Planars such as the Ananda, SINE DX and iSINE/LCDi4 sound ok on the R3 but the better dynamic range on the R5 is apparent from the offset and will deliver more headroom by comparison.

The R5 also has less low-level hiss than the R3 using unbalanced 3.5mm TRS and the Campfire Audio Solaris, which is my most sensitive monitor. Not that the R3 hisses much but the R5 does have the blacker background.

The R3 2.5mm TRSS balanced output played out in much the same manner with a slightly higher level of background hiss than the 4.4mm R5 counterpart. Given the lack of output power and similar low impedance outputs I am surprised by that outcome but in a very good way.

Both DAPs deliver black backgrounds with less efficient monitors such as the 112dB SPL DUNU DK-4001 and the 97dB SPL CA Comet in both balanced and unbalanced mode.

HiBy Music R3


A few interesting differences here in the tuning of these two DAPs. Using a CA Solaris as our test monitor the R5 sounded slightly more linear, with a little less low-end bloom with a more solid natural-sounding midrange timbre. Overall, I felt the R5 to have a better instrumental body, particularly in the lower-mids of the Solaris.

Treble is also a touch softer in overtones than the R3 and that affects the instrumental timbre a bit also. I tended to find the R3 deliver a slightly drier more digital sound than the wetter, longer decay of the R5 tuning.

Also, that comparative slight treble fade delivers a more euphonic vocal tone on the R5. The R3 treble presence offers more of an odd-harmonic lift from the mids onwards sounding the slightly brighter of the two but not by a huge amount.

Probably the one constant throughout the nuanced timbral differences was the dynamic range both of their amp stages offer. The R5 amp stage has a better level of dynamic range, everything has a bit more “pop” and snap to the sound whereas the R3 has excellent detail but can often just seem a shade flatter in its delivery.

HiBy R6 Pro



This is HiBy’s current flagship DAP using a dual ES9028Q2M implementation and a maximum of 750mW+750mW(@32Ω) balanced and 245mW+245mW(@32Ω) unbalanced. It is much bigger (Stainless steel version), heavier but with a larger screen and a dedicated coaxial/LO jack rather than the R5 shared jacks.

The R5’s dual CS43198 implementation still offer similar decoding levels as the R6 Pro at DSD256 and PCM 384kHz/32bit as well as both being able to use HiBy’s DTA architecture for bit-perfect output.

The R6 Pro has a more powerful output compared to the 564mW+564mW and the 148mW unbalanced R5 output on a 32Ω load. The SNR, however, is better on the R5 at 120.5dB unbalanced compared to 118dB on the R6 Pro. Similar slight advantages in the supplied line-out numbers also with 127.8dB on the R5 compared to 122dB on the R6 Pro.

Both have QC3.0 quick charge batteries though the R5 will last a little bit longer despite being the more powerful DAP with smaller battery size. The larger screen of the R6 pro is likely to be a bigger factor in battery life given both have the same 1.4GHz CPU clock rates.

HiBy Music R6 Pro


Both have the exact same setup with Snapdragon 425 and open Android Oreo. The only key difference is 1GB less on the R5 RAM which might slow it down if you have a ton of apps open the same time. Our performance tests suggest that otherwise, both operate just as smoothly as each other. My only concern is the size of the screen for Android on the R5 is quite a bit smaller and perhaps harder to read as a result.

In terms of expandability, the R5 has less onboard memory at 16GB (less than 10GB available) compared to the 32GB of the R6 Pro but both have external memory card slots and can integrate OTG flash and external HDD expansion. Both have WiFi and BT for bi-directional and HiBy Link support as well as DLNA or pretty much any service you can get from their integrated Google Play Store.


The R6 Pro has a much higher level of background noise or hiss than the R5 in either balanced or unbalanced output using the Solaris as our test monitor. The gap is moot once you insert a much less sensitive or higher impedance monitor such as the DUNU DK-4001 and you get a black background and zero hiss on both with the 97dB SPL CA Comet.

Headphone performance is a different story with the R6 Pro balanced output sounding like it packs a bit more punch and gain compared to the R5 using the Hifiman HE1000 V2 which is rated at 35Ω and 90dB. The R6 Pro maybe edges ahead on demanding planar headphones. Not only did the R6 Pro sound fuller due to the timbral differences but the dynamic range, SPL and headroom are all better than the R5 using 4.4mm outputs.

If you are driving sub-100dB SPL planars like the HE1000 series I would pick the R6 Pro balanced. For the likes of Audeze’s SINE and Ananda then the R5 4.4mm should be fine.


HiBy Music R6 Pro


The R5 sound is more neutral with not quite as much low-end weight and a little bit more upper-mids and treble presence. It has less of that natural treble roll-off that the R6 Pro was tuned in mind with and a little less warmth in comparison. I still find the timbre of the R5 fairly natural in tone but not quite as wet and rich in detail as the R6 Pro’s tuning.

With that slightly peppier treble, the R5 is also a little lighter and cleaner in tone for vocals. Though I wouldn’t classify the R5 in anyway peaky or bright you will find a slightly higher level of sibilant effect on high pitched vocals compared to the R6 Pro’s smoother harmonic balance.

One example I keep using is the Solaris pairing using CHVRCHES “Miracle” and Lauren Mayberry’s waif-like solo vocal 30-second opening to the track. On the R6 Pro, the texture and level of detail in the vocal is excellent with very little in the way of sibilance. With the R5, the timbre is close but you can hear a little harmonic clash that results in a little more focus on sibilant qualities on “V” and “S’s”.

FiiO M11



The M11 is FiiO’s latest mid-fi DAP and at a slightly higher price of $449.99. It is bigger with more of a smartphone presentation and weighs about 50g more than the R5 which is more pocketable. Mind you, the screen size of the M11 at 5.15″ compared to 4.2″ is much easier to read and use for Android apps and typing. PPI on both screens are almost the same though at 312 for the M11 and 319 for the R5.

Both DAC’s use a dual implementation with the M11 using a dual AK4493EQ compared to the R5’s dual CS43198. The decoding capability of both is the same with both capable of up to DSD256 and PCM 32/384kHz.

I like the fact the M11 has that additional 2.5mm TRSS port as well as 4.4mm and 3.5mm. It does provide more connection options compared to the R5. The output power on the R5 amp stage is similar at 1564mW on a 32Ω load going balanced compared to the M11’s 550mW 32Ω balanced load. SNR is a touch higher on the R5 at 120.5dN unbalanced compared to 118dB on the M11.

The Samsung Exynos 7872 14nm CPU combined with 3GB of RAM makes the M11 the fastest performer of the two, and the fastest DAP we have ever tested using AnTuTu with over double the performance score of the Snapdragon 425 inside the 2GB R5.

Onboard memory is higher at 32GB compared to the R5’s 16GB with dual memory card slots on the M11 compared to a single slot on the R5. Both have Quickcharge QC3.0 technology with the R5 doing slightly better on paper with up to 18 hours unbalanced compared to 13 hours for the M11.

FiiO M11


A big difference here with the M11 using Android 7 without Google Play support compared to the R5’s Oreo with Google Play integration. You can use APK Pure on the M11 but you will find some apps are not 100% compatible as they rely on Google Play services for operability such as HiFi Cast DLNA services. The additional 1GB of RAM will be a bonus to the M11 in terms of multitasking stability and it is much faster than the R5 for performance, (AnTuTu).

Both are WiFi and BT capable with bi-directional support with the M11’s using the FiiO Music player and HWA and HiBy using HiBy Music app, HiByLink and their own UAT BT protocol as well as HWA. Both offer LDAC out of the box also.


With my trusty hiss-o-meter or the CA Solaris I can tell you that in both balanced and unbalanced modes the M11 emits more noise or background hiss than the R5. The M11 isn’t bad actually but it is more noticeable. It is one of the excellent talking points about the R5 performance is just how low they got that noise level with the amount of power they are running through the amp stage.

By the time you switch up to something like the DUNU DK-4001 noise is a non-issue for either DAPs and in the case of our final test IEM, the CA Comet you will get a completely black background with both.

FiiO M11


The tuning of these two DAPs are more alike than different initially but there are some differences that you can pick up on after some longer listening sessions.

Using our test monitors, the CA Solaris, and the DUNU DK-4001 the R5 seems to have a smidgen less treble amplification and energy. This means the M11 could well display a touch more contrast and headroom with monitors over the R5 but it also means the harmonic balance is just shade cooler or harder-edged for percussion and some vocals pitching.

Not by much mind you, it is very slight in the way the R5 upper mids sound a little wetter, not quite as amplified as the M11 on our sample track from the R6 Pro session, CHVRCHES “Miracle” and Lauren Mayberry’s delicate vocal intro solo. The AK4493EQ is not as bombastic as the older AK4490EQ nor as hard-edged on the upper mids and lower treble but it still has a slight fusion of that legacy sound.

The other difference is in the low-end. I find the M11 just to be a little more neutral in its impact and weight whereas the R5 has a touch more body and warmth. That R5 additional body and warmth does alter the timbre slightly into the mids on the R5 sounding a little more even harmonic and the M11 more neutral in overtone.

iBasso DX150



I am not sure how long the DX150 will be available given the pending arrival of the DX160. The DX200 was phased out in favor of the DX220, however, the DX160 does not have the amp card system whereas the DX150 does so it might stay.

That being said, it is a worthy comparison to the R5 with the stock AMP6 card at $499. This is a huge DAP compared to the R5 by the way and much heavier also. The R5 is very pocketable by comparison though with a much smaller screen. The R5’s amp stage is fixed unlike the Dx150’s flexible amp card system though you do need to AMP8 to get 4.4mm balanced whereas the R5 comes with 4.4mm out of the box.

The DX150 uses 64bit 8 Cores A53 processor and 2GB of RAM with a clock cycle rate capped currently at 216-1008Mhz. At 1.4Ghz, the 2GB Snapdragon 425 of the R5 is faster and will feel snappier during daily usage. Battery life is also much better on the R5 with up to 18 hours compared to around 10-11 hours on the DX150. Both have fast charging tech, however, the DX150 uses PD2.0, compatible with QC2.0, whereas the R5 uses QC3.0.

iBasso DX150

DAC & Amp

The DX150 uses a dual 32-bit AKM AK4990EQ implementation which is an oldie but a goodie for chipsets. It’s decoding is just as good as the dual CS43198 of the R5 at up to DSD256 and PCM 32BT/384kHz.

Balanced output power is higher on the R5 compared to the stock AMP6 card that comes with the DX150 and slightly lower unbalanced. The AMP6 is rated at unbalanced at 2.4Vrms with a 32Ω load and balanced at 3.7Vrms, (maximum output). That’s about 180mW unbalanced and 430mW balanced is they are correctly weighted by iBasso.

THD+N is higher on the R5 at 0.0014% compared to the AMP6’s excellent 0.0004% but the AMP6’s SNR is a touch lower at 118dB compared to 120.5dB unbalanced for the R5.


Both use Oreo as their main platform with the DX150 having the additional dual boot into dedicated Mango OS whereas the R5 only has Android. The R5, however, has Google Play integrated whereas the DX150 does not so you need APK Pure or equivalent for apps management and you might lose some app compatibility also on the DX150. Despite both having 2GB, the R5 is much snappier with its better CPU clock rate.

Both have bi-directional BT and WiFi, however, the additional HiByLink is a feature iBasso have yet to match in their software development. Both do have bit-perfect output on their OREO platforms which is a welcome bonus in iBasso’s recent firmware upgrades.


Before I go onto the performance detail I have to give a shout out to iBasso for their volume control on the DX150. Compared to the R5 you have much better micro-adjustment capability whereas the R5 seems to jump up and down just that bit too much on a step by step basis with sensitive monitors. I kind of wish I had a few more micro-steps on the R5 volume like the DX150 offers.

For sensitive IEMs both the 3.5mm TRS output on both DAPS are excellent performers for noise with very low hiss levels paired with the CA Solaris. I would give a slight edge to the DX150 unbalanced but not by much. For balanced the story is quite different with the DX150 2.5mm TRS delivering much higher levels of hiss compared to the R5’s 4.4mm output.

The R5 balanced is much better suited to highly sensitive IEMs. As with our other tested monitors, the DUNU DK-4001 and CA Comet, we had pretty low noise floors with both DAPs, particularly the Comet.

The R5 has a bit more power for headphones such as the HE1000 V2 and slightly more headroom as a result. The DX150 also seems to show off a slightly leaner lower treble than the R5 with the HE1000 V2 going balanced but that might be more to do with the comparative the drop in the DX150’s output power.


iBasso DX150


The tuning on the R5 is more to the neutral natural side with a bit more upper treble energy and slightly less bass warmth compared to the AMP6/DX150 combo.

Using the Solaris as the test monitor, the DX150 sounded the fuller of the two and closer to the R6 Pro style of timbre with a little more fade in its upper treble and a bit more of a euphonic lower-mids timbre.

That little treble lift and more neutral tuning of the R5 comes through on instrumental notes which sound just a little bit lighter and leaner in tone compared to AMP6/DX150. You also get a slightly more sibilant or odd-harmonic overtone on female vocals compared to the wetter euphonic DX150 presentation.

The low-end of both DAPs have a good extension and you won’t find either lacking for detail. However, in terms of elevation, the DX150 sub-bass has the better quantity and combined with the Solaris has the slightly more authoritative fundamental compared to the R5’s more linear delivery.

HiBy R5

Our Verdict

Pardon the use of a meme here but the R5 is a bit of a pocket rocket and excellent value for $399. I am sure the competition will catch up but Android 8.1, HiBy MSEB, 0.5mW of output power and a very low noise floor has got to tick plenty of boxes for the avid DAP user.

The build is excellent and the size is pocketable, perhaps too pocketable? I know Android is awesome but for far-sighted people like me, it is a strictly glasses affair reading some of the fine print in the apps on that diminutive screen. A minor bugbear and sorry to the 20:20 users for what may well be a moot point.

It is not bug-free at this point and missing some key features I hope to see in forthcoming firmware. MQA would be a bonus feature and I am sure the licensing process for the R5 is underway given the R3 managed to deliver MQA at a later stage. The scanning of external memory cards seems overly slow for both MicroSD and OTG flash drives and the case does get more than a little warm at times. Finally, the BT Audio Input services did not work for me. I hope I am an exception for that last one. Chime in if you find yourself in the same situation.

Apart from that, the platform is quite mature, quite stable and boasting the kind of battery numbers that tempt me to take this, rather than the superb but connectivity-free Sony 1Z for long-distance flights. Shedding 300g from my carry-on bag and sucking the life out of the airport WiFi for TIDAL may just be on the horizon with the excellent R5.

HiBy R5 Technical Specifications

Operating System Android 8.1
SoC Snapdragon 425
No. of CPU Cores 4
CPU Max Frequency 1.4GHz
DAC CS43198 x 2
Input Method Touchscreen
WIFI 5GHz/2.4GHz supports IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n protocols
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2
USB Type C (USB2.0 data rate)
Display Size 4.0 inches
Colors 16 million colors
Topology IPS
Resolution 540*1080
PPI 300
Touchscreen Multitouch
Internal Storage 16GB
External Storage Up to 512GB + via 1 micro SD card
Buttons 6 physical buttons
Buttons Definitions Power/Previous/Pause/Next/Volume Up/Volume Down
Headphone Out 3.5mm
Balanced Headphone Out 4.4mm
Line Out 3.5mm LO
Balanced Out 4.4mm LO
Digital Out SPDIF (USB out)
Colors Black/Gray/Gold
Dimensions 107.7*61.2*15.6mm
Headphone Impedance Range 16~300Ω
EQ Adjustments 10 bands (±12dB)
Channel Balance L 10dB to R 10dB
Gain Level Low / High
Power Supply 9V/1.5A
Battery 3500mAh
Charge Time 2H
Charge Protocol QC3.0
Firmware Update Over-the-air update
Text Size Adjustable
3rd Party Apps Unrestricted access via Google Play and apk download
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52 Responses

  1. Michel

    Hello Marcus,

    Thanks for this great and detailed review. Which IEM under $200 would pair nicely with the R5? Or is an IEM under $200 not worth it?

    • Marcus

      Any IEM is worth it if you enjoy the sound signature regardless of price. Do not be afraid to hit the MSEB DSP option in the HiBy app either to give it some personal tweaking.

  2. Daniel Church

    Not sure if I understand headphone impedance correctly, My Fostek is rated 24 ohms. Is the R5 able to drive them effectively?


    Excellent review! Im about to buy the R5 but just one final question: his Android 8.1 can run third party apps made to listen chiptune music and .mod tracks like Droidsound, Modo, ZXTune, etc?

  4. Dan

    Hi, and thanks for this nice review.

    Do you know what it is “worth” used like network streamer (player) (USB audio to external DAC (active speakers) / Coax out), in a home instalation, replacing something like Cayin iDap-6 or an Raspi Allo Signature USB Bridge or blue node 2 and so on ?

    HiByLink allow us handling any application installed from google play store? Like Tidal or Qobuz or BubleUPNP …? HiByLink is like a mirroring screen system ?
    Or HiByLink on my android phone it’s limited to HiBy Music and generaly to HiBy OS ?


    • Marcus

      Hi, HibyLink as you pointed out is seamless for the iDAP-6 however, for anything else you are not limited to the HiBy app since it is Android 8. You can download and use any DLNA or airplay compatible streaming remote control and core module for BT or WiFi. HiByLink is just a feature of their own app, all other apps have their integration features so it will depend on your gear. I use Bubbleupnp, PLEX and HifiCast personally

  5. Stacy Fx

    Please help, today I received my new R5 and I want to transfer my playlist from the Widows media player (.wpl file). I open Windows Media Player and click the “Sync” button (Widows Media Player sees the player and the SD card). I start “Sync” playlist, click the sync button. As a result, the player have songs, but do not see the playlist. I saw that the player requires M3U file, I converted my .WPL file to M3U and tried the same way to throw it on the player, same palyer not see the playlist. I threw the converted M3U file playlist files into the folder in the player, now player see it but say that there were no songs in it. I try with Music Bee program and no result. Maybe you have any ideas?

  6. Felipe Cowley
    Sennheiser momentum 3

    Tengo unos audífonos sennheiser momentum 3 cual me recomendaria

    Leave A Review

    Build Quality
  7. Alfred

    Hi Marcus great review! I want r6 Pro but since I have limited budget, I’m looking at this hiby r5. My question is I have hifiman he 4xx planar and I have Sony nw zx300. The Sony I felt is not enough to drive the he 4xx more. Will the r5 hiby drive better than zx300? I know r6 Pro can but its kinda more expensive. Thanks for the advise!

    • Marcus

      Oh easily better than the ZX300. WHat Sony likes to do is bury the output power ratings which are not that high. The ZX300 is rated at 200 mW + 200 mW (High Gain) balanced into a very weak 16-ohm load. Compared that to the R5 which is capable of 564mW+564mW on a bigger 32Ω load balanced.

      • Alfredo Reyes II

        Really?! I did not know that. Kinda new in measuring power in this audiophile life. haha But thanks very much for this Marcus. I believe I made my choice. R5 is enough to drive the he 4xx. That’s why my planar is a bit low volume in ZX300. I really like the sound on it in balanced but it’s just not enough. This is the reason why. thanks!!!

  8. Parag Patel

    Please help! I just ordered my second Hiby R5 from Amazon assuming the first one was defective but both are doing the same thing. Anytime a song is playing on Bluetooth and I touch the top inch with any slight pressure on the screen, or on the back, the sound gets very staticy and distorted until I stop applying pressure. I love this player and hope this goes away and don’t have to return.. please help with suggestions

    • Marcus

      I need to test that but if its the top area it may be that you are somehow covering the BT receiver with your hand and interfering with the signal. Lots of variables and unusual you have it with both units.

  9. Stuart Malcolm

    Thanks for the review. I too am new to the DAP world so a lot of it is double dutch to me. I am looking to move over from my 160GB ipod, which is now over-full. So, I’m looking for something that can take 256-512GB. I don’t think I need bluetooth and I’m not sure about streaming/wifi so I don’t know if I should go for something like the R5 or something simpler?

    One question I do have though is about transferring over from itunes to a new music management system. Do you know how easy it is to maintain all the playlists, playcounts and sorting?


  10. Kiss László

    Hi, a bit off topic, reflecting on your R3 Pro comment in the review 😉, does the R3 Pro support Spotify playback?

    • Marcus

      Hi Lacas

      Too early to say as they have not launched it yet but a recent FB post on their page lists this on the R3 Pro

      ✅Dual CS43131
      ✅Bluetooth 5.0
      ✅5G Wi-Fi
      ✅MageSound 8-Ball Audio Remastering Platform
      ✅MQA certified
      ✅Two-way LDAC
      ✅HiRes certifications
      ✅2.5mm balanced output
      ✅Native hardware DSD256 decoding
      ✅Custom themes
      ✅Web radio
      ✅20 hours single-ended, 16 hours balanced
      ✅50 days standby

      • Kiss László

        Thx Marcus, seems promising. I will wait for your review 😊 Lacas

  11. Ronald

    You mentioned that as a transport any cheap dap with digital out would be fine unless you wanted bit perfect out.
    Can you recomend a cheap dap with bit perfect out? (to a IDSD Black label)

  12. Dan

    I just purchased the Hiby R5 to upgrade from my Irulu F20. I should be considered a newbie when it comes to High Res players, so forgive me if this question just reiterates that status. I find that these players have a distinctive “pop” when initially playing tracks. I’m comparing to playing music from my iPhone, which must preload or buffer with silence before the music track starts. Is there a setting I’m missing? All of my music is on a Sandisk 400GB micro SD card, not sure if the external drive has an influence. I remember the first generation iPods had the same problem, so must have been addressed with a firmware update. Would appreciate any input you could provide on the subject. Many thanks

      • Dan

        I’m using a set of Bose QC-25 headphones using the 3.5mm headphone output. Gain is set to high, as suggested by Bose.

      • Marcus

        Try low-gain also and see what happens. Sometimes a pop is a mute relay kicking in and an overly sensitive headphone with a high gain setting might pick it up more.

  13. Jon W

    Nice review!
    I am looking at the Hiby R5 or the upcoming Fiio M11 pro for portable use and also would like to use the DAP to send a digital audio signal to a Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC which has inputs for USB, coaxial, or spdif signals.
    Can you recommend the best cable type to transfer the digital signal from the R5 to the Gungnir? You mention the R5 has a USB type C digital out which I am not familiar with for high quality audio use.

    • Marcus

      If you are looking for a transport I would say any cheap DAP would be fine unless you need Android bit-perfect output or streaming. Now as to whether the Gungnir is compatible I can’t say for sure as I do not have one to test so best reach out to Schiit and ask will it receive a digital audio signal over OTG on Android DAPs via USB.

  14. Alberto

    Great Review!
    I’m looking for a DAP and my short list was: A&K SR-15, Fiio M11, iBasso DX160.
    Anyway when i read Hiby R5 review i understood that maybe it will be a good partner of IMR R1 Zenit!
    Maybe i’ll plug also Focal Clear and Final PAndora Hope VI but IMR mainly!

    Could be a great combo?

  15. Avi

    Iam torn between R5 and M11…This would be my first DAP…I mostly listen to classic rock,funk and metal…it would be a great help if you could help me in choosing between these two based on the genres I mentioned …btw great and detailed review…

    • Marcus

      Oh for sure if rock and metal its the R5. I find the M11 doesn’t deliver enough bass authority for driving thrash rhythm guitar work. The R5 delivers more low-end weight, especially with MSEB DSP applied.

      • Kevin

        And what about the iBasso DX160?
        I mostly listen to rock and metal too, and I am choosing between R5 or DX160.

      • Marcus

        It depends really on how you like your metal served. If you are after super tight shredding, searing guitar solos with excellent tapping precisions I would get the DX160. If you prefer the Les Paul sound with some meat on the rhythm guitar section or something like Bay area thrash chugging sound I would grab the R5.

      • zdzisuaf

        Hi! What about band Tool? Which DAP would be better? R5 or DX-160?

      • Marcus

        Personally, I would be using an R5 for low-end weight to match those heavy guitar riffs but the DX160 adds a bit of air up top so it’s kind of down to you on what you prefer.

  16. HiFiGo

    Like your review, about the music player, I love the shanling M6 and iBasso DX160 better, can you make a comparison for these player

    • Marcus

      I cannot because A. we have not got an M6 and if we do, it will be with a different reviewer and second, the DX160 review will have the comparison at a later stage with the R5. If you like them better perhaps you should explain why to allow our readers to form an early opinion below. thanks

      • Alberto

        Shanling M6 has great specs:
        Snapdagron 430
        4GB Ram
        32GB ROM (expand 2TB)
        AK4495SEQ Chip DAC
        SE3.5 and 2.5+4.4 Balanced outs
        4.7″ display
        4000mA Battery

        I’m waiting heafonics review but right now Shanling M6, Hiby R5, iBasso DX160 are in my short list

  17. Allen J. Feinberg

    Thank you for the excellent review. My eyes have been on the R5 and the M11. If I was going to purchase one, it would be the R5. You provided some great insight, just the information I need to make the decision for my purposes.

      • Allen J. Feinberg

        I got the R5 and also the R6 Pro. I have the same feelings about the two. The R5 is brighter, the R6 Pro is so perfectly clear, the music effortlessly gets to where its going! I broke down and purchased both. I know that there will always be more players coming, like the iBasso DX160 and Shanling M6 Android, but I am done purchasing DAPS with these two purchases. I am crazy about the HiBy DAPs. The R6 Pro is a dream, and the R5 is a great player as well.

        I had first purchased the R6 in Stainless before the Pro was released. I must have had a defective player because at the time, I could not get the R6 to read my FLAC card and it caused all kinds of problems with my laptop. So I bought the Shanling M5s which has OTA updates and I only want the player any way. The M5s sounds super as well. Very musically satisfied with it.

        I am beside myself admiring the R6 Pro now that I have it working. What beautiful players HiBy has produced!

  18. RA

    Love your review. I’m just confused on the impedance thing or maybe i’m reading it wrong. On their website it says headphone impedance range 16 to 300, does it mean that this DAP is only recommended for iems with 16 output impedance and above? HiBy confirmed that the OI of R5 is <1 ohm iem has 10 OI and i'm afraid it has hissing sound


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