HIDIZS AP80 PRO-X Review
Jul 20, 2022
The AP80 Pro-X is a portable digital audio player made by Hidizs. This player is the bigger brother of the AP80, upgrading from ES9218P to ES9219C DAC chip in order to improve performances and extend format compatibility to Tidal MQA. Furthermore, the AP80 Pro-X has a 2.5mm balanced headphone out in addition to the standard 3.5mm headphone jack for single-ended headphones.
The AP80 Pro-X has an extremely small footprint and can be carried very easily as an additional device. It’s one of the smallest stand-alone players on the market.
The AP80 Pro-X offers many physical controls in order to not take it out of the pocket during usage. On one side, there is the play/pause button, the song skip (prev/next) controls, and the volume wheel, which also works as the power button.
The controls are overall sturdy, with the exception of the wheel which is a bit flimsy.
At the bottom, the AP80 Pro-X has two headphone outs (balanced and single-ended) and a USB-C connector, with which it can be used as an external DAC (controlled externally from a smartphone or from a PC), or which can be used to connect the AP80 Pro-X to an external DAC/amplifier.
On the left side, there is a micro-SD card slot, if the user wants to store music on the AP80 Pro-X.
Finally, the AP80 Pro-X can work as Bluetooth DAC/amp, sending music streams and controlling it wirelessly from an external device.
The AP80 Pro-X has a full-sounding, darkish signature. Unlike many portable devices, vouched for U-shaped frequency response to make bass and highs more forward (thus sounding aggressive), the AP80 Pro-X has a warm sound and natural treble roll-off. Such traits reduce the possibility of sibilance, and work great with a wide variety of headphones/IEMs, although they will have some issues with others.
The full tonality is e with flat / bass light /bright earphones, such as Etymotic ER4-P, Hifiman RE800, and Hidizs own MS2. On the opposite end, with Sennheiser Momentum the midbass is too much, and the gentle treble roll off of the player is summed to that of the headphone itself, resulting in treble energy being too tamed.
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