I knew about The Walkman before I knew about the ipod.


Somewhere along the way the teacher (Sony), became the student of Apple. The ipod was simple and snappy and small. Sony was all over the map with new ideas every year and proprietary devices, systems and connectors. The must have made more money from folks trying to enjoy and integrate their devices with non Sony than they ever made of the devices themselves.

It was tiring and often not good.


However for every for every 5 FAILS there were some wins. The Sony EX1000 is considered by many to be the apex form of the single dynamic driver IEM design. I like mine so much I spent more decorating it than the item itself.



I also found the MA-900 t be to my liking enough to do the same for them.




I had not realized that Sony had dug their way back into my life until they were there. They had not broken back into the player realm though.


It was hot garbage. It favored Sony’s own file type…of course. I would rather learn a new version of Android than walk through that mess.


Then somebody tapped me on the virtual shoulder and thought i should have another look and I did..



sony zx2sony zx1sony zx6sony zx4sony zxsony zx3



Like an ipod on steroids with a nice weight and size. build quality supreme.



Navigation style



sony zx8


The interface is a series of panels that sit around the main screen that you can reach by swiping up/down/left/right. If you are in direct mode it’s that simple. ipod like in it’s ease.

If you switch direct off you get another level of DSP options including a nice 10 band EQ with another couple of options to satisfy the tweaker that lives in most gear geeks.

sony zx7

 the FFffUUUUuuuuUUU does it sound?


Sounds a tad south of Neutral. I hate Neutral. Has a tint of warmth and body to the music. Sounds real. Vocals and guitars sound clear and have good texture and transients. The note has a full life from the moment a bass guitar string is pulled until the harmonic extension has died away. This captures that perfectly.


Music will usually be whatever your earphones or headphones are tuned for. Good music players really should not be notable …just kinda get the fu out of the way and maybe leave a small sonic reminder they are there. The Sony NW ZX300 leaves a nice residue of musicality that is well received by the ex1000 or Unique Melody ME.1 (planar) or the 64 Audio U12 (Balanced Armature) or the NCM “Bella” (Hybrid).



Review of Sony NW ZX300 Video form



You are being pic bombed








Balanced output is where this thing shines the brightest. Believing in balanced benefits aside the power output is better and thus dynamics improve. There is always that.





I listened to this to come to this conclusion




NW-ZX300 – Key Features:

  • Large TFT 3.1″ / 7.8 cm WVGA [800 x 480 Pixels] Display,
  • Touch-Sensitive LED Backlight Color Display,
  • 30/26 h – Standard MP3/High-Res Music Playback,
  • Body:
    • Solid single part CNC processed Stable Aluminium Body
    • Benefits: Best Shielding and Noice canceling Results,
  • S-Master HX™ – The Best Sound quality is Guaranteed By Design widely Implemented the “True Digital Paths”.
  • High-Resolution, Hi-RES:
    • Direct Stream Digital – DSD 11.2MHz,
  • Standard MP3 – Up to 320 kbps, VBR Support,
  • FLAC,
  • WAVE,
  • WMA,
  • APE *.ape/ Up to 24 bit/max 192 kHz,
  • DSEE HX™ For Restoring The Sound Quality of Lossy Compression Files,
  • CXD-3778GF – Digital Amplifier,
  • Connectivity:
    • Bluetooth v.4.2 with A2DP and AVRCP,
    • NFC,
    • USB – V2.0,
    • 22-pin WM PORT Socket,
  • 10 Band equalizer,
  • Dual Peak Meters Graphical Presentation,
  • Spectrum Analyzer,
  • Audio Output:
    • Balanced Audio Jack – Diameter 4.4mm:
      • Power Output: 2 x 200mW,
    • Stereo Minijack – Diameter 3.5mm:
      • Power Output: 2 x 50mW / 16 OHMs,
  • Rechargeable battery Powering:
  • Charging Time:
    • Approximately 5h.
  • High-Quality Components: FTCAP and Film Capacitors,
  • Storage Space:
    • Internal 64GB,
    • The Storage Volume is Expandable with MicroSD Card.
  • Dimensions:
    • 57.7 x 120.4 x 14.9 mm,
    • 2.28 x 4.75 x 0.59-inch,
  • Weight:
    • 157 g,
    • 5.54 oz.




Sony has come a long way.

They seem to by luck or …nah…by luck, to have nailed it.

This is what they have done



Just reading that makes me remember why it took so long to return. Like they were trying to keep me away and kill their own market…and now they are on their way back to taking what was theirs. Do they even realize that? Who cares. This unit is awesome. This review is about that and it is in fact excellent.


Get it in Asia



Get it in America


The Great Sound Generator

The Hiby R6 is the world’s most advanced HiFi music player, it comes with not one, but dual ES9028Q2M DAC chips, coupled with a HiFi discrete amplification architecture after the dual DACs comprising 5 separate chips, including high quality OPA1612 LPF and TPA6120 amplification chips for high power output (up to 300mW under a 32Ω)

R6 supports all high-resolution audio formats, equipped with WiFi and DNLA Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, ensuring flawless wireless communication.


From Hiby



Unboxing and build






Even the cables are awesomeIMGP0300IMGP0279IMGP0282

pictures with lint of dust will be removed later and burned forever. OCD folks accept my apologies

Photo bombs awaaaaay!!!










You wanna Tweak? Me too!


Hiby has it’s own steroid enhanced version of Viper for Android and boy is it a winner.

MageSound 8-Ball


That’s the name of their main DSP or should I say full suite of DSP’s






It’s called 8-ball but has 10 setting bars




Each of the 10 sliders has an effect of counter effect that can be adjusted in increasing amounts of range



Other DSP include a Parametric EQ which is really what most folks like myself want. It is a work in progress as I have a pre-release device and pre-release firmware. It should be epic when complete.




Has a standard  Graphic EQ with some pre-sets.






Before we continue..




Digital music players do not have sound characteristics like:

speakers/transducers/drivers <<<all names for the same thing which are your headphones or earbuds and everything in between.


Calling a Music player “U” shaped (Bass up, mids down, Treble up) is a symptom of the internet allowing anyone with a website…(looks in mirror) to make pronouncements about shit they know nothing about. George D. (Figure it out) is a guy who loves everything and drops the collective I.Q. of the entire hobby by about 20pts. He’s a hype man who thinks he reviews stuff.


No, I’m a hype man. I hype what I love and you don’t see stuff I don’t like. You see an un-box and then nothing ever again. What happened to that thing?


Short version?

kinda sucked, not gonna advise anyone spend anything on it. That’s it.



These devices with help from filters have very subtle nuances that make one or the other more preferable to any given individual.


You got it? Your fucking headphones exert more influence on the final sound you hear and anyone who implies otherwise is a fucking con man plain and simple.


Moving the fuck on….




20171206_21550020171206_215522Hiby R6 DAP



  • Bit-perfect output (bypassing Android SRC)

First DAP manufacturer to come right out and claim bit-perfect without any qualifiers about this mode or that setting. It has what they call DTA (Direct Transport Audio)

  • Dual ES9028Q2M DACs for a silky smooth sound

Mobile version of high quality DAC x2

  • Snapdragon 425 SoC Processor with 3GB RAM

This is where shit get real. 3 gigs. What is the difference between a DAP with 1 gig or 2? Who cares…They both don’t have 3. The Hiby R6 has 3 and this device is very fucking fast son

  • 4.2’’ 768X1280  Touchscreen

Very nice screen, lie the Dx200 without ghosting and pedestrian ipod audio quality.

  • Android 6.X system 

Almost the latest and very stable. no glitches even on my demo model

  • Four-Way LPF for First-Rate Amplification

  • 32GB Build-in Storage and up to 2TB expandable Storage

  • Support most high-resolution audio formats, at up to 384kHz/32Bit, DSD 256

  • Supports Line out and coaxial digital output

  • 12 hours playing time with Quick Charge 3.0 

  • 2.4/5G Wi-Fi

  • Bluetooth 4.0 ( aptX )





Why this DAP and not the other?



Blazing 3Gig of RAM…hold my phone wait… no that’s my DAP ..kinda speed that is going to be the industry standard within months of this post for top shelf items running robust droid platforms.





The R6 has the fastest, most intuitive user interface of any droid based DAP I have ever touched. It’s insane.








Stuff I don’t like:

  • 1 SD card

This is done with a mind toward speed and was not a cost saving thing on the part of Hiby…knowing that and understanding that makes it O.K., but…….I want the whole world in my hand

I want the whole world in my hand

I want the whole… world… in… my…. haaaaaaaaaand!!

  • I want a cover, should have a jacket to protect it’s sexy body. Fake leather…free in package…real leather…optional item 🙂






(Insert comparisons to other DAP’s here)

Ever read music player compares and the dude never even mentioned the songs played when the conclusions were made? Kinda boggles the mind.


I got you bruh!



Before I started messin’ with DSP the sound had a sense of impact that is not going to show in a graph.  Aside from that every trait assigned to this device by others in the future will be them talking about their IEM/Headphones.

Bass, wide stage, mids/treble are driver traits.




Sony EX1000 are my ears. I know these so well.

They have a audiophile bass but can be EQ’d. Before doing so, the bass on these seemed stout and defined with impact when using the Hiby R6 in balanced mode. The filters and power stage on this device must be real good.



If you want to ask about the R6 compared to another it will be using the Sony EX1000 or Unique Melody ME.1 and it will be a song from the albums above so if you don’t have those IEM or listen to that music it is a waste of time. Sorry but welcome to the real world. With different gear and music the result will be different. That is self explanatory.






My video review






Kind of an un-box








Do I rec it?


Yeah, I think it is the fastest best sounding most tweakable DAP on the market at any price range and the build quality is outstanding.   They built this to punch the market in the mouth and they broke some teeth…they really built an amazing device.


Joe Bloggs and team kicked some ass.


That’s my Hiby R6 review….beechuz


Pre-order here



Trust me. Or another dude you never met who never talks about what they listened to while judging audio gear…

Wordwide Audio Wednesday





World Wide Wednesday Vol1                 11/22/2017




FiiO is about to release the new F9 Pro Hybrid IEM with Knowles BA tech

They are also organizing a tour on Head-Fi and application to join can be found here

(I will be in the mix so a look will be found right here.)




Shanling is also hosting it’s first tour in North America and it is sending 3 DAP’s at once to the reviewers chosen. information on that tour can be found here.


(They follow me on Twitter but do not reply to me …about anything, anywhere, ever.LOL, whateverz, it is news!)





Hiby has begun the process of delivering the first Hiby R6 DAP units outside of China/Asia and reviews and impressions should start coming in on that soon.

(I will be in the mix so a look will be found right here.)

Info on the device below




The long awaited FiiO Q5 amp/dac is slated for a December release for $349.99

(I hope…who knows?)





Will edit and expand sources to include the gobs of stuff I come across. Somebody once laughed at Headphonia in a PM about their daily events. No, it’s smart. the traffic flows have patters and in between reviews you let the tide go too low or you use what they call “B-roll”. 20 year old tactics that work still. Gonna do Photobomb Friday’s if you folks tempt me!!










FiiO X7Mk II Hi-Res Music player REVIEW

Fiio X7mkII

Original FiiO adverts for player

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  • 2GB RAM ,

  • 64GB ROM ,

  • ESS9028 PRO,

  • Balanced

  • + DSD + BT 4.1 aptX + Dual mSD + Dual Band WiFi + Optical



Shii, let’s get right to the point

There has been a lot of discussion about the sound of music players and due to laziness or stupidity or both, the terms often used to describe speakers , headphones or any audio transducers has been ascribed to Music players as well and let me tell you it is total bullshit.

There is no loose bass, recessed mids or rolled off treble with a music player which has at it’s heart a DAC which is a Digital to Analogue converter.

It converts digital data into analogue data.

That’s what it does.


There is a thing happening. Cannot measure it. Cannot do anything but marvel at how some music players using the same exact DAC cam exhibit a tonality that is so different from another.

ESS9018K2M  Used by OPUS #2 (x2) and Calyx-M (x1)

They sound nothing alike and it has nothing to do with dual DAC’s.

The X7MkII is using an ESS9028Pro (x1) and the Dx200 (x2)

They sound different. I prefer the single DAC implementation but can appreciate now (unlike a few months ago) that it is a fine device in it’s own right. NOT my type of sound but very well liked by some.

Excluding all the babble about “loose” and “recessed” lets put them on one plane and call it a neutrality line

Warm (implies some sort of perceived focus in bass and vocal range)



FiiO X5iii

Shozy Alien +

Neutral ( no emphasis perceived anywhere along frequency)

FiiO X7 *1st gen stock amp*

DX200 *stock amp*


Cold (implies some sort of perceived focus in treble, perhaps forward mids)


Aune m1S

If that is reasonable, and I think it is, I would place the FiiO X7mkII in the Neutral category with a slight lean towards treble. It seems to have no more weight to bass than the 1st X7 but the clarity seems…well…clearer. The minutia in some music is there and while DAP’s that are leaning north of neutral can be a bad match for long term listening the X7mkII is actually the opposite. It is more engaging and comfortable than the X5iii and warm music players are supposed to be good for longer term listening.

Maybe true? But the X7mkII is an exception to the rule which makes it…exceptional.



I was unable to get past the tiny font on the Cayin i5.

Sometimes a simple little thing can make a device almost un useful if it does not mimic an ipod like ease of use experience with as few clicks and swipes as possible and a minimum of missed touches/clicks.

The FiiO X7mkII is a mature, easy to navigate Android based music player with no annoying habits. I have had it for 5 months and picking it up and using it is a thing done without thought of any kind.

I do not have to “put up with” anything annoying.

There are 3 basic themes.

Several ways to browse your music

The ESS9028PRO has 7 filter settings embedded in the DAC to make subtle adjustments to the sound

Screenshots taken with players screen capture

(hold down power and “up” on rocker switch at the same time for 1 second to do this)

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 Using the thing

Adding your music is as simple as plugging it into a PC or MAC and dragging the music files onto the devices storage. It is in fact less tedious than using itunes with an idevice.

Most common question I hear from folks not crippled by music gear collecting is:

“How do I add my damn music??”

Just plug it in bro.

It will ask to be storage device and you allow it then find it on your computer where your other drives are and open it and go.

Easy peasy.

Photo Bombing





fiio x7 and sonyma900Fiiox764audiou12

 Compared with other music players?

This is a thing you can ask directly in a question as I believe the headphones/IEM have the final say in the sound so I would need to know what music and what other gear. I can do it. Have no problem declaring one over another but just in general terms? Nah, that’s a hype game parlor trick.

X7ii and OPUS2fiio x7ii and x5iii

What do I listen to?

DSD when I can

Vinyl rips of classic albums

70’s Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae

I sometimes EQ Bass up for a more “live” feeling and i do it with every device that I can

The good

Sound Quality is pretty damn awesome

Very easy to use

You can change the amp at the bottom of the device and get more power without stacking

Battery life will get me through a regular day with no worries

Android allows you to use other music apps like on your phone and Neutron will work with this and not resample to 48Khz

The bad

The EQ is just O.K.

1/2 of screen is taken by control panel and other half for album art? It would be nice to auto hide that big panel

The leatherette case is very very hard to take off. Almost had a meltdown taking that back off

The Ugly


It sounds great, it is priced great compared to it’s rivals, the company updates the device to add things that people ask for.

This device was given to me for free.

Does that help make my review positive?

Legit question.

I dunno? I had it for months, I use other music players too. I enjoy being brutal and honest and sometimes burn bridges because of that.  So I guess no. I definitely like it and have no problems telling you it is one of the finest devices you can buy to listen to music with and it will not cost you a shit ton of gold. Your good, this is a good purchase.

Highly rec’d