Review: HiBy R6 III

Closing thoughts 

If there’s one problem with the current state of the DAP mid-market, overcrowding is probably it. We’re literally being spoiled with a smorgasbord of choices from all the main players, excuse the pun. 

At $499, a full $300 less than the starting price of its predecessor, HiBy’s R6 III makes a compelling argument as one of the most full-featured DAPs not only in its price range, but quite a bit north of it as well. 

Its spec list reads like a wishlist for what anyone would want from a modern Android DAP: latest OS, latest (DAP-grade) SoC, all the wireless codecs you can think of, wired and wireless external DAC support, all-day battery life, solid amplification for almost any IEM, and a proven high-performance DAC that’s been expertly implemented for modern music playback.  

It’s not perfect, of course. The need to lower screen resolution is questionable, as is the halving of power output. It’s not the most beautiful DAP I’ve ever seen either, and the design makes for fiddly volume tweaking. But where it matters – software features, functions, and, of course, sound performance – I’m not hearing anything here that would make me hesitate to use it with my everyday IEMs for both casual and critical listening. 

To be honest, I’m not sure what double the price will buy you that you’re not getting here. As a budget-conscious but still serious enthusiast wanting the best bang for your DAP buck, who needs the benefits of Android’s streaming support, who wants to be able to tweak and toggle and customise, all without compromising the performance of even the most expensive IEMs, R6 III should be part of the conversation. 

It may not have the flash or finesse of some of the more sophisticated DAPs available, but you’re paying three times or more for that privilege. It used to be that diminishing returns hit hard past the kilobuck mark; with R6 III, I suspect that mark is significantly lower now.



Guy Lerner

Guy Lerner

An avid photographer and writer 'in real life', Guy's passion for music and technology created the perfect storm for his love of portable audio. When he's not playing with the latest and greatest head-fi gear, he prefers to spend time away from the hobby with his two (almost) grown kids and wife in the breathtaking city of Cape Town, and traveling around his native South Africa.


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