Hiby FC6 Review – Great and Affordable R2R DAC

Hiby FC6 Main

Hiby FC6 (tested at $299)

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Sound (as a DAC) 8
Sound (Headphones) 10
Build 9
Compatibility 10
Features 9
Value 10
  • Fullbodied sound
  • Spacious soundstage
  • Natural tonality
  • Nothing for the price

Hiby FC6 is a small and fully portable DAC based on the R2R technology instead of the much more common Sigma-Delta DAC chips. Is this good for the sound, should it influence your buying decision, and how it compares to the similarly priced competition? Keep reading to find out.

Build and Features

Hiby FC6 comes in the form of a small dongle, and it is built out of aluminium and glass, weighing just shy of twenty grams (around 0.7 ounces for those on the imperial system). The layout here is simple – we have USB-C input on one side of the device, meaning that the cable is detachable, which is good. On the opposite side, there’s one analog output in the form of a 3.5 mm stereo jack. The volume rocker is on the side, while the top of the unit contains one button and a small LCD with all the necessary information.

As mentioned, FC6 doesn’t use any commercially available DAC chip. There’s a 24-bit R2R circuitry doing the D/A conversion instead. This can handle Hi-Res files up to PCM 768 kHz and DSD 512. More than you’ll ever need. Even the MQA decoding is supported, but that becomes less relevant by the day since Tidal is now moving away from the infamous lossy compression – and it was its only big supporter to boot. Finally, you can even choose between the OS and NOS (oversampling and non-oversampling) modes. I’ll not go into which one sounds better to my ears – try it yourself and decide. But enough about features, let’s talk about the performance.


Hiby FC6 offers a well-balanced tonality that doesn’t prioritize either part of the frequency spectrum. The bassline is pleasantly full, but one could never call it overly warm or sluggish – the way some R2Rs tend to sound. Midbass is equally full but nimble, and it doesn’t intrude into the midrange in any negative fashion. All vocals and instruments sound clean and well-separated, but also full-bodied and palpable. This makes for a very wholesome sound signature that is not always given for such a small and affordable DAC. The highest frequencies are clean and well extended, but they safely stay away from being sharp or over-etched. All of this gives a very pleasant sound signature to Hiby FC6, the one that I could combine with almost any headphones or earphones and listen to for long periods with satisfaction.

Soundstaging is surprisingly good for this price range. The sound scene is spacious and uncluttered, there’s a good hint of three-dimensionality to tones too. Dark background and clean tones mean that this R2R network is done very well and with low noise levels, once again, something that is not always given, especially in this price range.

Finally, the dynamics are more than decent and this DAC is one lively performer. Compare it to any other truly portable device of this size and price and chances are that FC6 will come on top with its engaging rhythm. I had to go to bigger, pricier, and battery-powered devices with more watts to get better slam and better dynamic swings. So just be realistic, don’t connect some high-impedance or low-sensitivity headphones to it and you will be rewarded with engaging sound and foot-tapping sound.

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Cayin RU6 is another similarly priced R2R portable. It also offers full-bodied tonality and a very rich tone timbre that I liked very much. That said, RU6 was not as clean and as resolving. Its noise floor was one of the highest I’ve heard in recent times and it was incapable of doing dark background and great tone separation. I’m quite sure that some of you would still prefer its warmer and softer sound signature. All that said, Hiby FC6 offers rich tone timbre too, but with more neutral tonality, cleaner tones over a darker background, and better detail retrieval overall.

Cayin RU7 appeared on the market in the meantime and it might be a better match and fiercer competitor, but I don’t have that one for a comparison.

Moondrop Moonriver 2Ti is my favorite portable DAC below $200. It’s well made and sounds very clean and spacious. That said, Hiby FC6 manages to be more revealing, more spacious, and offer better tone timbre – all at the same time. This means that FC6 is in a higher tier when it comes to performance. If your budget can allow it, go for FC6 – it’s that simple and needs no long explanations.

Finally, if you need a standalone desktop DAC only that will be attached to an external amplifier, a product dedicated to that kind of use will easily get the better of FC6. Even the very affordable SMSL SU-1 will outperform FC6 in terms of overall dynamics and detail retrieval. So Hiby FC6 is best when used as intended – as a portable DAC with headphones attached to it. If a standalone DAC should provide only line-level output to the amplifier, there are better choices intended exactly for that.

Hiby FC6 and Chord Mojo 2

Chord Mojo 2 is more than double the price, much bigger and weightier too. It’s still portable, but just not as convenient and as portable unless you have very big pockets. That said, Chord Mojo 2 was needed to surpass this small Hiby sonically. The overall tonality of the two is similar – smooth and natural, with slight warmth, rich tone timbre, and without any harshness. It’s just that Mojo 2 pushes all of these qualities one tier above FC6, sounding even bigger, lusher, and more spacious. If you’re not a critical listener, you might perceive this difference to be “not that big”, but if you are you will probably say something like “Yes, Mojo 2 is clearly and obviously better”. All in all, Mojo 2 is a more capable device, but given its price and size I don’t see that as something that FC6 should be ashamed of.


If you’re on the lookout for an ultra-portable DAC and headphone amplifier, be sure not to overlook Hiby FC6 because it’s as fine-sounding as it gets at this price point. There’s a long list of dongle DACs that I’ve tested in the past five years, and none of these can fully match the sonic performance of Hiby FC6. Moving forward, this will be the one to beat.


DAC: Darwin R2R network
Dimensions: 22.4*50*10 mm
Weight: 19g
Supported Formats: PCM up to 768kHz/32bit, up to DSD512 native
Digital input: USB-C
Analog Output: 3.5 mm

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