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

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

The AP80 sells for $139 MSRP
www.Hidizs.net
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.

6 Comments

  1. I’m disappointed with this review. It reads well, until you realize it came to an end – before it even got to the main point / feature of any music player, i.e. sound (other than the fm tuner 🙂

    • Pinky Powers on

      It seems you stopped reading at Page 1. There are two other pages, both of which are all about sound.

  2. Piervittorio Trebucchi on

    Hi, I bought a Hidizs AP80 convinced by the good reviews of this brand’s products.
    And I confirm that the product looks good, is well built and guarantees high quality audio, supporting all possible formats.
    Unfortunately, the instructions are inexistent, a few dozen lines which also refer to the Chinese version of the software.
    The real problem is the user interface, which seems to have been developed by a drunk who hasn’t seen any media player in his life.
    It seems impossible to get a directory view (folders with the titles of the discs), a display in alphabetical order or by author, play a complete disc by clicking on the folder with the name of that disc, have a search function for folders or files, have a random playback, etc.
    In fact, once I inserted the 128gb micro SD card with my 400 favorite lossless APE + CUE discs, mostly of audiophile quality, I simply found myself with an alphabetical list of about 4000 songs … Maybe, if there were any instructions, the problem could be solved, since the sw is anything but intuitive.
    But I don’t want to waste time and get nervous, so the AP80 is back in its box, and the MicroSD with my music is back in the smartphone, which with Neutron as an audiophile media layer, is a good solution.
    I have not yet thrown the AP80 into garbage, in the secret hope that in the future they will implement a user interface that is not ridiculous and demented.

    P.S. In their online shop, they publish only the five stars reviews, so there isn’t any possibility to write and read the truth about the AP80 (and this is the reason why they have only two reviews – probably fake – about the product), and they don’t answer in their facebook pages to any critic. Simply, you cannot post a critic comment.

    100% chinese mood and crap.

    • Pinky Powers on

      Upon boot-up, click on Player. Then hit the Music icon at the top. Then go to Files. This is folder view. Once you’ve found the album you want, begin playing your desired track. You can then Swipe Left to full screen the album art and gain access to all the usual features, such as Play Through Folder, Loop, Loop 1, and Random. You can click on a little heart icon to Make Favorite. There’s a whole Settings bar for more options.

      I don’t know if every features you want is here, but this more than covers my needs. It seems like maybe you gave up before digging deeper or asking for help on the forums.

      You are right about one thing, though. Hidizs is a small Chinese company. And like many of these boutique audiophile companies, they lack the resources to be everything for everybody, everywhere in the world.

      • Mobin Haque on

        I just started researching Hidizs AP80 a couple hours ago and this is the second time I have come across this same complaint, copy/paste. I guess I’ll buy it from Aliexpress. I have had zero issues with refunds from them.

      • I’ll say the same, I bought an AP80 one week ago and I have no problem at all. Works fine, sounds better, and the touch screen Isn’t the most precise I have seen, but is usable. Happy with the purchase, better by far in sound, screen and usability than my old Cowon C2. If you pair the AP80 with Final Audio E4000, sounds great!!

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