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Review: HiBy R6 Pro II


I have fond memories of HiBy’s original R6 Pro DAP. It was my first ‘serious’ DAP, and boasted some breakthrough specs compared to what most of the more established brands were offering at the time. 

It was also one of the more expensive DAPs, retailing for $800, which may not seem like much in today’s world of $3,000+ flaghsips, but believe me when I tell you it was quite the aspirational device for many back then. 

It’s been more than four years since those pioneering days of portable audio, and HiBy has finally released the spiritual successor – if not the actual successor – to the R6 Pro. The new R6 Pro II is, for all intents and purposes, a completely different class of DAP, virtually unrecognisable from the original. 

It does include some cute callbacks to its ‘predecessor’, like the choice of purple colourway (there was a limited-edition purple version of the R6 Pro for a while), and comes in at a very similar price point – the only difference being it’s very much a ‘midrange’ offering in today’s market, at least in price.  

Everything else about the new R6 Pro is different. Gone is the stainless steel chassis, replaced by a lightweight aluminum frame with a modernized design. The 4.2” 720P screen has evolved into one of the largest screens on a DAP at 5.9”, with a full 2K resolution that’s one of the brightest and sharpest I’ve seen too. 

For me, the original R6 Pro pushed the boundaries for what a sub-$1,000 DAPs was capable of, with some ‘groundbreaking’ features like hi-fi grade parts, abundant power to drive larger headphones, and a comparatively speedy processor for its Android 8.1 OS. In some ways the R6 Pro II is walking the same path, with some astonishingly good parts and performance for its (now relatively modest) price.

Whether or not it will have the same broad appeal as before, only time will tell. For now, let’s find out what this, the latest in a flurry of DAP releases from HiBy, has to offer, and what makes it better – or at least notably different – from the rest.

The new Pro

The first thing you’ll notice on receiving the new Pro is the distinctive design cues and purple styling. R6 Pro II is available in two colours – purple and black – but even the box of the black version has the purple design on the cover. 

The box itself is different to recent ‘R6-class’ packaging in that it’s not a clamshell design but a more traditional lidded box with two internal trays. The top tray holds the DAP inside a pre-cut foam frame, and the bottom tray holds the included leather case and USB-C cable. A few other accessories are also included, a quickstart guide and spare front and back plastic screen protectors (two protectors are pre-applied). 

Bizarrely the black version DAP that I received is supplied with a gray leather case, which looks out of step with the design motif as a whole. The case itself is very well made, with a clever slot on the back that expands to allow the oddly-shaped DAP to slide in before shrinking back to fit. 

The front of the case is also odd in that it leaves an obvious gap between the bottom screen bezel and the start of the screen, while sitting flush with the top of the screen. Unlike other HiBy DAPs, there’s no HiBy logo printed on the exposed bottom bezel, so it ends up looking like the case was undercut to the size of the screen. 

Of course, I’m nitpicking here, but if you’re going to create a DAP with such a differently bold design, attention to detail matters. 

Continue to differently bold…



Picture of 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.


2 Responses

  1. Fabulous review! With so much detail and thought.

    Any view on how these compare to the shanling m6 ultra? And would pairing the R6P2 with an amp like the Topping NX7, be able to drive full sized headphones like say Sennheiser HD650s?

    1. Thank you. I have not used the Shanling so can’t say, but yes, connecting the R6 Pro II via line-out to an external amp will easily power full-size headphones.

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