Going Pro, adding More!
PROS: a compact design with a very small footprint, balanced output, responsive touch screen, dedicated playback buttons, bi-directional BT w/LDAC, USB DAC and Digital Out, impressive sound performance, FM radio and step counter.
CONS: higher price of pro version.
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
Manufacturer website: Hidizs. Available for sale on Hidizs and Amazon.
Seems like every manufacturer today releases a Pro version of their popular DAPs, regardless if it is an entry or higher end model. In the past “Pro” used to have a different meaning, sometimes referring to a modified design targeting a different group of users. Now, it is just an update or an enhancement, quite often giving a second wind to a product, making it more competitive in today’s audio market where even a popular model can become obsolete overnight. But regardless, one thing I did notice with many Pro releases, they try to keep exterior design close to original while updating internal components, often beefing up the spec.
It is usually not a problem when dealing with bigger size DAPs where you have plenty of space to update the internal design and components. But when you announce a Pro version of a mini size DAP, not much room left to play around with. That is exactly the reason why AP80 Pro announcement got my attention when I heard the preliminary spec of doubling the DAC, adding 2.5mm balanced headphone jack, and a new dedicated FPGA for higher rate DSD decoding. I was more curious what is going to happen to original AP80 size after going Pro. So, let’s find out about this and more in my review of the latest Hidizs release.
Unboxing and Accessories.
Similar to original AP80, Pro arrived in a small sturdy black box with a typical foam cutout tray to keep AP80 secure inside during the shipment. This was a straightforward basic small packaging for a small device. Top of the box had a silver logo of the company and the model name, while the back of the box had a detailed spec in 4 different languages, including English.
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