HiBy RS2 Assessment — Headfonics

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For in the present day’s article, we evaluation the brand new HiBy RS2 which is an entry-level R2R DAP that includes the corporate’s proprietary Darwin structure. It’s priced at $479.

Disclaimer: It is a pattern despatched to us in alternate for our trustworthy opinion. Headfonics is an impartial web site with no affiliate hyperlinks. We thank HiBy Music for this chance. 

You’ll be able to click on right here to study extra about HiBy merchandise that we’ve got beforehand coated on our web site.

Observe, that this function follows our newest scoring pointers which you’ll learn here.

HiBy RS2

Out of the numerous R2R merchandise that emerges these days, the HiBy RS2 makes a courageous try to chop down OS and wi-fi options for a cleaner circuitry, reaching probably the most compact type issue for an R2R DAP and packs in its state-of-the-art DSP tuning tweaks.

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Deep, natural sound

Compact dimension for an R2R DAP

Highly effective DSP options for enhanced dynamics


Lack of wi-fi options

Restricted energy

Again in late 2020, HiBy launched the unique R2 which was probably the most inexpensive DAP choice of their intensive lineup and a continuation of their standard micro type issue first seen on the R3 Sequence.

Properly, they’re again now with the RS2 however for these pondering it’s a tweak of the unique R2 then assume once more.

It is a completely totally different proposition incorporating a whole lot of HiBy’s newest developments together with their modern Darwin Structure that debuted on the RS6. It is usually an R2R DAP and presumably the most affordable one available in the market in the present day at $479.

HiBy RS2 Review
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Tech Highlights

Darwin Structure

Drawn from the Darwin Structure first seen on the RS6, the diminutive RS2 is packed filled with options usually seen on higher-end DAPs. Given the R2R discrete engineering method, meaning the options are all controllable in-house somewhat than purchased off the shelf with a mixture of software program and {hardware} tweaks.

This consists of linearity compensation for the R2R array, a 256-tap adjustable FIR filter, a harmonic controller, in addition to NOS and OS choices, and the power to oversample at a 16X charge when required.  


The RS2 rides on HiBy’s personalized PureAudio model HiBy OS and enjoys a “cleaner” audio pathway on the system degree, in comparison with Android which requires SRC bypass and elements to help wi-fi features.

I think about the simplified configuration on the RS2 to be a wise transfer when there are extra energy constraints. On this case, a light-weight OS would permit higher allocation of energy and by not together with some wi-fi features extra space, energy will be saved in addition to lowering noise from the corresponding elements.


For codecs, the RS2 helps as much as 32BIT/PCM384kHz, MQA 8X, and DSD256 decoding. Two microSD card slots will be noticed on the backside and the gadget can even learn from OTG storage units.

As well as, the RS2 can be utilized like a dongle and it has a devoted non-charging mode change that permits the RS2 to run by itself energy and isolates interferences from the supply.

HiBy RS2 Review
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Within the amplifying circuitry, the OPA1652 runs on present amping mode to step up the present, and twin OPA1612 acts as LPF. Twin OPA1622 with 4 channels handles the amplification and a New Japan Radio NJW1195A chipset is used for exact steps of quantity.

The configuration has a transparent mission to jack up the dynamics and management while on the similar time, maximizing portability. To that finish, HiBy has achieved 10 hours of steady playback on a 3500mAh battery that’s satisfactorily lengthy.

Efficiency Numbers

The 4.4mm PO with 32Ω load outputs as a lot as 320mW with a 3.2Vrms swing. On 3.5mm PO @32Ω, the RS2 can output as a lot as 125mW and 2Vrms, which means that the RS2 has first rate energy on its balanced output and never a lot for SE.

The SNR measures 118dB on 3.5mm out and 117dB on balanced, with 0.006% THD+N efficiency, which is first rate for its dimension.

On one other be aware, the design works nicely with delicate IEMs because the output impedance is as little as 0.9Ω on balanced and 0.47Ω on 3.5mm output, being such the RS2 is technically environment friendly with IEMs which have a low impedance ranking.

HiBy RS2 Review


The RS2 measures simply 158g and has a 2.45 Inch, 480*360pixel display. The back and front sides of the RS2 are fitted with glass panels and the physique is formed masculinely just like the design of the R6 and RS6. The amount knob is adorned with a faceted glass insert.

Once you placed on the leather-based case the realm is lower out to show the entire entrance panel together with the Darwin badge. It seems fairly cool however can also be fairly sensible permitting the thumb to swipe to the underside of the display space with out being blocked. 

It might be sweeter if the display covers the entire physique however contemplating the larger elements and energy consumption, slimming down the display will not be a nasty concept.

Wanting carefully, the aluminum alloy framework on the RS2 has a brushed sample. On the suitable aspect, you can find management buttons, in addition to an indicator, led in a bar form widespread to different RS collection units, according to the button design to look sporty.

There’s additionally an uncommon function as hinted above. The on/off change on prime will be slid to the left aspect when customers determine to not use the ability from the host when pairing the RS2 to USB sources as a DAC. This may scale back battery consumption on the telephones and isolate the RS2 from noises that come from the supply.

Inevitably the design has a way of déjà vu from the Astell & Kern AK120 launched a few years in the past, which has an analogous screen-to-body ratio and twin SD card slots. Besides that the RS2 is far richer in software program options and far more succesful within the sound division which we are going to cowl beneath.

HiBy RS2 Review


The RS2 helps each 3.5mm and 4.4mm output, in addition to a 3.5mm lineout to hook up with amplifiers. It will probably additionally help USB decoding, and double as a USB audio supply for different decoders.

If you’re utilizing a full-size decoder, you could think about using the RS2’s coaxial output and eventually, the RS2 can even operate as a transport.


The RS2 has a quite simple UI that helps easy gesture management, customers can click on to enter menus and swipe to the suitable to return to the final web page.

A number of bodily buttons on the perimeters permit widespread music playback controls together with cease/play, subsequent/final songs, and quick ahead/backward.

The response pace is passable quick even when enjoying again a DSD file. When swiping quick it gained’t freeze and the menu construction is nicely deliberate with the intention to get actions carried out inside a number of clicks.

HiBy RS2 Review

Packaging & Equipment

HiBy has gotten actually good at designing the entire package deal and the open-box expertise for RS2 is pleasant.

Contained in the packaging, there’s a Darwin Brooch Pin and it comes with a well-crafted leather-based case in a inexperienced theme that’s according to the packaging. As well as, there’s a USB Kind-C to Coaxial cable for many who need to use the RS2 as a transport

HiBy RS2 Review
Residence Display screen

Software program

To accommodate and maximize the efficiency with the R2R elements beneath the cigarette field dimension design constraints, HiBy is trimming down fairly some OS features and makes use of its in-house HiBy OS PureAudio model, powered by the pretty previous X1000E Ingenic controller.

The menu structure on the RS2 is cleanly organized to permit prompt entry to the system-wide efficient MSEB and Darwin filter settings from the menu display. In addition to that, there are user-friendly options like customizable theme colours within the setting operate.

General, the UI response is easy so long as you retain playlists quick. Regular operation will be dealt with single-handedly relaxed and equalizing choices are responsive. Regardless of the small display dimension, the simple structure design and bodily buttons are sufficient for quick and efficient navigation.

HiBy RS2 Review


The MSEB tuning panel on the RS2 is a killer function and one of the superior, user-friendly implementations among the many competitors.

I extremely suggest it to those that like to experiment with their very own tweaks. This operate can stretch the synergy a lot additional with any IEMs, fixing apparent flaws and coloration utterly totally different from the inventory tuning in numerous facets such because the timbre, bass affect pace, and vocal sweetness.

The MSEB operate is useful and the distortion degree is fairly low even while you drag the bar to the far proper or left. Customers can even entry the 256-tap, adjustable FPGA-powered FIR filter able to 16x Oversampling which permits matching with IEMs of various traits and response speeds.

Similar because the RS6 there are a complete of 10 Darwin digital filters, a toggle for NOS/OS, and a Harmonic Controller Slider with values starting from 0-255. This permits customers to regulate the overtones for extra smoothness.

HiBy RS2 Review
Media Administration

Media Administration

The RS2 can learn multi-lingual tags with out errors and scan songs fairly quick, it takes solely a short time earlier than I noticed that the RS2 has already scanned my 512GB TF card.

When urgent and holding on to the songs displayed customers can entry choices that permit deciding on a number of songs to be added to a playlist, or to delete the file. Nevertheless, there is no such thing as a copy operate that permits the consumer to maneuver the music to a different folder.

Wired Connectivity

You will have to allow USB DAC mode within the settings because the default connection will likely be for storage solely. The RS2 connects immediately when plugged into my Home windows 11 PC with no driver required

Connecting to different USB outputs through OTG is as simple as hooking it as much as a laptop computer. If you happen to don’t need to drain your cellphone you may at all times slide the ability button to the left aspect, which is able to drive the RS2 to make use of its personal battery on board as an alternative of draining the ability on the host machine.

With delicate IEMs you could hear some distinction in noise degree in addition to the dynamics being affected.

HiBy RS2 Review

Sound Impressions

The standard remedy which is greater than 2 weeks of steady burn-in is given to the RS2 to heat up the resistors inside earlier than impressions are put down. If you’re accustomed to R2R units you will have an concept of what to anticipate when it comes to tonality and presentation, however there’s at all times one thing extra to anticipate with the RS2.

Regardless of being an entry-mid-level gadget, RS2 could be very succesful within the sound tweaking division. That doesn’t counsel that the bottom tuning just isn’t nice. As a substitute, it has a somewhat impartial and easy tuning, that could possibly be a very good begin for a consumer to construct their customized sound profile.

Typical R2R sound may restrict pairing feasibilities however the DARWIN structure and MSEB digital sound processing broaden the synergy with totally different IEMs, introducing stronger dynamics and strengthening the transients and staging efficiency. 


After 2 weeks of burn-in, the RS2 sounds very easy with full and soothing low-end with a bass response that may be detected beneath 40-50Hz on the take a look at IEMS.

The mids are punchy and dense, meaty however sufficiently textured for a strong picture. The higher register isn’t shy however is free from spikes, and it’s accompanied by clear transients to spice up decision within the output.

The element retrieval energy is general passable with an sufficient quantity of air preserved such that the output doesn’t really feel boxed in. A slight top-end roll-off will be detected which places the highlight extra on the smoothened midrange, coloring the output barely heat, cozy, and non-intrusive always.

Switching to sooner and strongly attacking music like EDM, speedy digital music, or metallic, is to not RS2’s benefit. The extra mid-centric sound design or natural coloration from the R2R structure does a greater job with sentimental previous pop, soothing membership music, and ethereal percussions.

The expressive overtones particularly when pushing the Harmonics Controller barely, make the RS2 pair higher with Pop and Jazz when listening through USB output on my laptop computer. I choose switching to excessive acquire and non-oversampling for denser, richer mids. On low acquire and OS mode, it sounds extra forgiving however flatter and intimate within the mids.

Inside a managed diploma of DSP tweaks, the transients and affect can really feel fairly robust on the low finish whereas sustaining a pure and open tuning that’s enjoyable to hearken to. This makes me really feel just like the RS2 is extra succesful than its acknowledged energy.

Staging & Dynamics

The RS2 just isn’t probably the most highly effective gadget for the value vary, most likely because of the larger energy necessities of R2R structure.

Regardless of this truth, when paired with delicate IEMs that stress the dynamics and extension, or by utilizing MSEB tweaks, it might nonetheless sound pretty detailed and expanded. The RS2 is able to defining distance, it sounds real looking when devices pan throughout the stage rendered or when bass decay into the background.

With IEMs of upper impedance, you could detect a extra outstanding roll-off in each the bass and treble, which takes away some air in addition to sibilance tones.

Separation with devices can also be not as robust as a few of its AKM/ESS-based rivals, however in return, harmonics are fantastically rendered and there’s good coherence between totally different parts offered.

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