HiBy R5 Saber Android Lossless Digital Audio Player
Android 8.1, Dual CS43198 DAC chips, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC, Native DSD256, MQA 8x unfolding, 4.4mm+3.5mm dual outputs
Delightfully snappy to listen to and to use
A real pocket rocket, it looks as good as it is!
The Saber difference
The R5 standard edition gives a warm, smooth sound while the Saber edition ruthlessly cuts through the most complex of recordings to reveal detail for all to hear.
Resolution beyond its peers
With dual Cirrus Logic CS43198 flagship DAC chips on board, integrated to the motherboard using a professional QFN packaging process to maximise heat dissipation. On the R5s, we pull out all the stops to relay every musical detail extracted by the dual DAC chips.
Panasonic electrolytic caps
4 470µF Panasonic electrolytic caps round out the output stage to increase current capability for transient response.
Panasonic Hi-Polymer Tantalum POSCAPs
7 200 µF and 4 47µF capacitors are all high-end Panasonic POSCAPs with minimal ESR for maximal power supply noise rejection and pure sound.
Two OPA1642 in professional audio-grade packaging perform low-pass filter duty while two AD8397ARDZ are in the amplification stage with high-end heatsinking provided to heighten sound quality and performance stability.
Bigger than it looks
Weighing only 160g, with a 4” 16.8 million colour LCD taking up almost the whole front bezel, the R5 is as big as it is handy. With 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm balanced headphone and line outputs and up to 1040+1040mW@16Ω of drive power through 4.4mm, this tiny package is as big as almost any headphone needs.
Systemwide MSEB for your customized sound
Systemwide MageSound Eight-ball tuning board allows you to tune the player’s sound to your specific headphones and listening tastes.
Note: Systemwide MSEB available on firmware v1.6 and higher, does not effect DSD, MQA. Only processes onboard headphone outputs (i.e. excludes Bluetooth, USB, line and coaxial digital outputs)
All-format audio support
Fully supporting DSD, DXD, APE, AIFF, FLAC, WAV and WMA lossless music formats; MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG etc. lossy formats; also MQA.
MQA’s award-winning technology captures and reproduces the sound of the original studio master in a file that’s small enough to stream and download easily. HiBy R5 is capable of MQA rendering to 8x.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC
Rock-steady system programming plus 2GB RAM and 16GB storage ensures silky smooth operation and playback.
Open Android 8.1 System
The HiBy team, with its strong software team, optimized the Android 8.1 system for bit-perfect playback, using the DTA system to bypass the resampling Android audio stack for systemwide bit-perfect audio, while at the same time supporting practically all Android applications, for a smartphone-like operating experience while outclassing them in audio performance.
Bluetooth now also HiFi with UAT technology
Ultra Audio Transmission—the Bluetooth audio codec developed in-house at HiBy, supports 192kHz audio transfer with bitrate up to 1.2Mbps, while also optimizing itself for different music content. Bringing you true hi fidelity in Bluetooth.
HiByLink for remote operation
Simply install the HiByMusic app on your smartphone to connect to the R5 via WiFi or Bluetooth to control playback, browsing, volume control, etc. on the big screen while playing from the R5.
18 hours continuous play time for all-day listening
Also supporting QC3.0 quick charge, with internal 3500mAh battery for 18 hours continuous play time and quick recharging.
18 hours play time on 3.5mm SE / 11 hours play time on 4.4mm balanced.
* The playtime may differ according to different scenarios.
All portable usage scenarios supported
- as USB DAC
- or playing to USB DAC
- LDAC as Bluetooth receiver or transmitter
- transmitting and receiving music files via WiFi
- or playing to other HiFi systems via line out
List of included items
The R5 Saber, leather case, screen protectors, USB charge and data cable, instruction manual and warranty card.
||HiBy R5 Saber
|Colors||Aluminum alloy black|
|Operating System||Android 8.1|
|No. of CPU Cores||4
|CPU Max Frequency||1.4GHz|
|WIFI||5GHz/2.4GHz, supports IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n protocols|
|Display Size||4.0 inches (540*1080)|
|Colors||16 million colors
|External Storage||Up tp 2TB + via 1 micro SD card|
|Balanced Headphone Out||4.4mm|
|Line Out||3.5mm LO|
|Balanced Out||4.4mm LO|
|Digital Out||SPDIF (USB out)|
|USB||USB storage, USB DAC IN/OUT|
|Headphone Impedance Range||16~300Ω|
|EQ Adjustments||10 bands (±12dB)|
|Channel Balance||L 10dB to R 10dB|
|USB DAC||PCM/DoP/DSD Native|
|Firmware Update||Over-the-air update|
First I have no experience beyond this R5 Saber and my iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy Tab (2016).
Most importantly, sound-wise this is very good - better than cell phones that I have, and my MacBook Pro (2020 - M1). It works well with FLAC files and “offline” listening in music steaming apps. If sticking to FLAC files on an SD card/offline listening, this DAP will serve you well, although streaming is mostly fine.
This thing makes my old Grado SR-80 headphones sound awesome! - best I’ve ever heard them. Looking forward to using the balanced output with some Sennheiser HD-650 or similar in the future. I’ve also got some inexpensive KZ IEMs that sound shockingly excellent on this.
Wifi streaming with Amazon Music HD isn’t great. As compared to my iPhone 11, the UI within Amazon Music app is a bit laggy. I also experience random streaming interruptions that I don’t with my iPhone or (old) Samsung Galaxy Tab. While it’s far from unusable, if streaming is your main thing, I’d probably look for a smaller DAP that can function as a DAC which can be connected to your phone. Otherwise make sure you get a micro-sd card and download music for offline listening. I still need to try the R5 in USB DAC mode connected to my iPhone or MacBook.
Bluetooth - I was looking forward to using LDAC at 990 kbps with my Sony WH1000-MX4 headphones. But unfortunately it’s unstable at times, enough so that I gave up on it and use ACC or LDAC at the “middle” bitrate. LDAC/990 was flawless on my old Samsung tablet. I used developer options to force those connections in both devices. Using LDAC/990 and streaming via Wifi was very unstable. I don’t know much about the electrical design of these (or anything else) but hunch is the Bluetooth and Wifi might be using the same data bus and it can’t handle it. Again this wasn’t an issue on my old Samsung tablet.
Even with the above two issues, I’m still very happy with the purchase and the performance of the R5 Saber.
Adoptation of Android to the Hiby R5s (as far as I can tell from 2 weeks of use) has been done well. No freezing, shut downs, or lags. The Hiby audio app is good enough so I haven't shopped the Playstore for alternate music apps. My only gripe with the stock browser was that I couldn't figure out a way to download files to an SD card. . . so I simply got another browser from the playstore, as well as an audiobook app. . . as well as Spotify. Wifi connectivity is excellent. Bluetooth? - I don't know. I only use connected headphones and haven't tried sending to bluetooth speakers.
The sound? Coming from Fiio X3II and the Sony NW-A45, this player is a definite upgrade. The mids and highs are so clear. . . cymbals, chimes. . . and it'll probably power every headphone you have, especially if you choose the balanced output. Even voices in podcasts and audiobooks are so much improved over my LG40, I've pretty much stopped plugging heaphones into that phone. The best part is the form factor. Feels a bit heavy for its small size but it fits and feels well in hand, goes into any pocket. Great with the included leather case.
Lots of reviewers on this site mention Andrew for helping them out. If you have any questions or concerns, he's quick to reply with help. Thanks! Got this player practically overnight instead of waiting a month from someplace from the other side of the Pacific. If you've been on the fence, this is an excellent player, and this is the place to get it.
Excellent sound, and powerful enough to drive high-impedance headphones… plus the ability to download music from Qobuz when not connected to WiFi.
HiBy R5 Saber