"So Much More Like Hearing Live Music"
If you crave true audiophile quality portable sound but your iPod or other mass market device just doesn't fill the bill, check out the HiFiMan. Sure, it's bigger and beefier than the garden-variety portable player, but the sound is that much bigger, too. Built into the HiFiMan is a Burr-Brown PCM1704U with 24-bit, 96 khz capability.
"Swapping between the HM-801 and my 15 GB iPod while listening to WAV files the Hifiman totally clobbered the iPod," reports Steve Guttenberg in his March 11, 2010 review for CNET. "The Hifiman's muscular bass made the iPod sound feeble by comparisonů The sound was just so much more like hearing live music."
"This is, without a doubt, the first audiophile-worthy portable digital audio player I've encountered in the past 13 years of covering portable audio technology," notes Eliot Van Buskirk in his Wired magazine review for May 06, 2010. "The HiFiMan delivers audio that even the snootiest sound snob will find little to gripe with."
Plays Standard and Lossless File Formats
Don't look for games, GPS, or other geegaws on the HiFiMan. It's devoted to one thing and one thing only - true high fidelity sound - and it does this expertly. In addition to its compatible with standard audio file formats (MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG) it also supports multiple lossless formats (APE, WMA, FLAC). And FLAC files are treated to a high-def 24-bit, 96 kHz sampling rate.
It's Also a High Quality Headphone Amp
In addition to its portable player status, the HiFIMan doubles as an excellent headphone amp. So hook it up to your home gear, plug in a premium pair of headphones, and enjoy!
Connections consist of USB and mini coaxial digital inputs along with 3.5mm 'mini-plug' line-level and headphone outputs. The external power supply also acts as a battery charger and can deliver hi-fi grade sound quality even while charging.
Don't worry about technological changes down the road. The removable headphone amplifier circuit board/module gives you a handy upgrade path for your HiFiMan should others become available, or lets you substitute a board of your choice right now.
Instead of devoting real estate to built-in storage of its own, the HiFiMan uses 32 GB SDHC cards, giving you a great interchangeable storage solution.
The built-in rechargeable 14.8-volt lithium ion polymer battery provides up to eight hours of listening.
Headphone Amplifier Module Spec
"Swapping between the HM-801 and my 15 GB iPod while listening to WAV files the Hifiman totally clobbered the iPod. The Hifiman's muscular bass made the iPod sound feeble by comparison. The massive church organ on 'Intervention' from Arcade Fire's 'Neon Bible' rumbled more and the vocals were fleshed out on the Hifiman. The iPod couldn't communicate anything like the impact I heard from the HM-801. It's not even close, and the louder you play your tunes, the more you'll appreciate what the HM-801 can do."
"The power was impressive, but it was the improved clarity and lower distortion that made the biggest difference, even while listening at lower and safer volume. The sound was just so much more like hearing live music."
- Steve Guttenberg, CNET, March 11, 2010
"This is, without a doubt, the first audiophile-worthy portable digital audio player I've encountered in the past 13 years of covering portable audio technology."
"But the HiFiMan delivers audio that even the snootiest sound snob will find little to gripe with."
"Paired with high-quality headphones, the HiFiMan sounds better than an iPod Classic, reputedly the best-sounding model Apple makes, even when playing the same files. We perceived no hiss or distortion, backing up the strong audio specs (102-dB signal-to-noise ratio) and everything from deep bass frequencies to ultrahigh cymbals sounded clearer, punchier. Sonically, it's drastically better than the iPod in every conceivable way."
- Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired magazine, May 06, 2010
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|Finally: A True Portaudiophile Player !!!|
I am going to write this review with the audiophile in mind. 99.99% of the population simply wouldnt understand why a device that looks like 1980s cassette player should cost almost 8 bills. My current headphone rig consists of a Music Hall Maverick SACD player connected to a Meier Audio headphone amplifer. Both pieces of equipment are connected to a Panamax line conditioner. I probably spent $2,500 on my setup excluding headphones. The headphones I use include the AKG 701, Sennehiser HD650, and Grado RS1s. Naturally, I was extremely skeptical that a pint size device such as the HM-801 could power full size audiophile headphones. I also found the near $800 price tag staggering. However, to be fair that price tag includes a device that functions as a headphone amplifier, media player, and DAC all in a portable package. Overall, I am very impressed with the HM-801. Build quality is very solid. Dont be scared by the pictures on the AA site. They look like they are of a poorly finished pre-production unit. The headphone amplifier is ridiculously powerful and I have the volume set to zero! My initial impressions of audio quality are positive. I have tested only 16 bit FLAC files ripped from standard redbook CDs so far. I will need to break in the unit before I can do some critical listening and provide detailed feedback. My only concern at this time is long term reliability. However, I have always had a good experience with products purchases from AA. I will post an updated review in a few weeks.
|- S V, CA|