Hi-end Portable Music Player Derived from Flagship HM-901
HiFiMAN HM-802 is a high-end portable music player based on the successful sonic formula of the company's landmark HM-901. The HM-802 achieves its lower price point by use of the proven Wolfson WM8740 Dual DAC chip. Otherwise it has essentially the same features, functions, and circuitry as the HM-901.
The HM-802 shares the same user interface, high performance step attenuator, and rugged design with the HM-901. All amp cards and cable connections are also interchangeable. In addition to offering best-in-class sound quality, the new HiFiMAN player accepts a wide array of audio formats, and it is expandable and easy to operate.
"The HiFiMAN HM-802 is a great little player," notes John E. Johnson in his review for Secrets of Home Theater and High-Fidelity. "It is a wonderful alternative to other more ubiquitous players out there, because you can use a full sized pair of headphones, and you can play high resolution music files. The sound is very clear, detailed, deep bass, and low distortion."
Great Sound Plus Quick and Easy Operation
According to HiFiMAN Founder and President, Dr. Fang Bian, "The best technology and great sound is only as good as the user's ability to operate their device and access their music, quickly and easily. Along with great sound, ease of use has been a high priority in designing our portable players and the HM-802 is no exception. For example, on the User Interface you'll notice that the buttons and a rotating navigation menu cleverly comprise the main interface. The innovative TAICHI UI and high quality volume controller also add value and performance to the entire operating system."
High-end Step Attenuator Volume Control
Also contributing to the HM-802's sonic excellence is its very high-end step attenuator volume control, which is a product that you will not find in another manufacturer's portable audio device. It's an expensive item to include in a mobile player. But the benefits are worth it. "The advantage is that the resistors in both channels of the step attenuator can be paired to make sure they are 100 percent identical," says Fang. "So the soundstage will be much more accurate than with regular volume controls."
And speaking of the volume control, here's a nice feature. The patented volume control is recessed in the front of the case so that you are highly unlikely to ever change the amplitude by accident. "Even if the front rubs up against clothes or other surface, the volume will not change," says Fang. "This is necessary to help protect your ears, because the amplifier module for headphones is very powerful."
Powerful Amplifier Module
The HM-802 boasts a uniquely designed headphone amplifier module. It uses four OP627 chips, which is one of the most expensive op-amps available, and OPA634 buffers, which also is a very high-grade chip from Texas Instruments. As a result, the sound quality is very impressive.
The headphone amplifier is located on an easily removed module. This makes the HM-802 great for tweakers who might like to experiment with different amp modules. HiFiMAN is currently developing an extra powerful 6-volt-output amplifier module card which can drive most full-size headphones
In-ear headphones demand very high signal-to-noise ratio, but don't require high output, because the efficiency is high. Full size headphones typically have very low efficiency and the impedance is relatively very high.
To excel with both types of headphones, the MH-802 has a low-gain output and a high-gain output switch. Low gain is for the smaller type headphones, like earphones, earbuds, in-ears. The high gain is more powerful and is designed for use with full-size headphones.
Balanced/Normal Mode Selection
Also unique to this player is a patented system allowing you to select either Balance or Normal mode playback via a convenient switch on side. Balanced is for four-pin headphone plugs (separate 'plus' and 'minus' for each channel). Normal is for the standard three-pin mini-jack output, with both channels using a shared ground.
"The balanced mode has much more powerful output then the normal, because the balanced amplifier is four times more powerful," notes Fang. "The channel separation is much higher, so the soundstage is much larger. The balanced mode is perfect for all of the HiFiMAN high-grade headphones, which all use the four-pin balanced connections."
Another great feature of the HM-802 is the HD and Vintage switch, which alters the DAC frequency response. HD means high definition, and there is less roll-off in the high frequencies. It's a more modern sonic signature. Vintage gives you 3 db roll-off at 20 kHz to mimic the softer sonic signature you get from classic hi-fi gear.
Easily Replaceable Rechargeable Battery
Unlike other portable music players, the HM-802 is not a 'disposable' audio product. It is built to deliver exceptional performance for years and years. Reflecting this philosophy is its replaceable rechargeable battery. It's easy to open the back and swap out the battery when you need to. And it's a very large and robust battery unlike the power source you'll find in other portables. It delivers +/- 7.4 volts, 2,000mA.
Interchangeable SD Card Memory
The HM-802 uses an SD card for maximum convenience. So instead of relying on an internal flash memory which would be difficult or impossible to replace, just pop in your own SD card. "With an SD card, you can buy several and switch them out and easily have several hundred gigabytes worth of digital files."
Even More Features
In addition to all of these great features, the HM-802 also has a custom-designed TAI CHI user interface for exceptional ease of use and fast response. It offers digital input/output and USB decoding through an optional docking station. The sleek, robust case is constructed from high-tech composites.
A firmware upgrade will allow gapless playback of digital music files.
Founded by Dr. Fang Bian in 2007, HiFiMAN is widely regarded as one of the leading manufacturers of high performance headphones and portable audio products in the world. HiFiMAN is especially known for its critically acclaimed Planar-Magnetic headphones that feature state-of-the-art driver technology. The company also designs and manufactures best-in-class dynamic in-ear phones that have also garnered awards and rave reviews.
"The HiFiMAN HM-802 is a great little player. It is a wonderful alternative to other more ubiquitous players out there, because you can use a full sized pair of headphones, and you can play high resolution music files. The sound is very clear, detailed, deep bass, and low distortion."
- John E. Johnson, Secrets of Home Theater and High-Fidelity, July 16, 2014