The Old Ways Wrapped in New – A Review of the Hidizs AP80


Hidizs provided the AP80 free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

The AP80 sells for $139 MSRP
Hidizs on Amazon

If I recall correctly, I contacted Hidizs about reviewing some goddamn thing of theirs like a year ago. Can’t even remember what it was. But they were in development of a new DAP, and would need all the publicity they could get when the time came. So my contact info went into a book somewhere and the months rolled on.

I had forgotten about the incident completely until they reached out, announcing the AP80, and asking if I was interested.

Well, why not?

The AP80 is a small, entry-level digital audio player (DAP) packed full of features… including an FM radio receiver! And it works! Don’t ask why, but this surprised me. Perhaps because I never reviewed a DAP with old-school radio. I’m not usually a fan of “features”. Don’t use them. Rarely do I bother to test them even for review. But how could I not try this?

The UI for the FM is like all of the AP80’s menus. Simplistic and to the point. You can scroll through the band with a swipe of your finger, or you can use the autoseek function. AP80 found 101.1 Classic Rock with no trouble, and it came through crystal clear. It sounds GOOD! I can’t remember the last time I heard radio sound this full and rich.

As for all the other features, you name it, Hidizs has it. Bluetooth, APTX, HiByLink, native DSD… even a f**king Step Counter to keep track of your exercise. What? Pinky didn’t test any of that, but I sure enjoyed that FM playback.

As for the chassis, it’s a slight thing, utterly pocketable, light of weight, and sophisticated in design. There’s no room for excess. Only the necessities are present. Volume Wheel/Power Button, Track Up, Track Down, and Play between them. The touchscreen is your primary means of navigation. A microSD slot dwells on the left side, and the 3.5mm TRS headphone out and USB-C reside on the bottom.

As I said: Simple. Yet well-built. I have no complaints. This is a finely made device.

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About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.

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