My second day (third if you count media day) at International CES 2012 started with a breakfast meeting with a company that was new to me, HiFiMan. Founded by Dr. Fang Bian, this company’s goal seems to be all about bringing high-resolution audio listening to the portable world. And for people for whom “MP3” is a four-letter word, the new HM-601 Slim player will be a breath of fresh and open, high-resolution air.
The player uses a Burr Brown PCM1704u decoding chip that allows it to handle decoding high-res FLAC files (at least up to 96/24), as well as Ogg, WAV, AAC, WMV, and MP3. This player allows audiophiles to enjoy their high-res music in the highest quality while still being on the go. On top of the Slim’s superb DAC, it also features an improved headphone amp section. It will be available in 4 GB ($199) and 8 GB ($249) models and can be expanded up to 32 GB by using an SD card. It also has an adjustable gain output for use with in-ear headphones and a separate high-gain output for full-sized headphones. Sticking with the theme of no-compromise mobile listening, HiFiMan also debuted its HE-400 planar magnetic design over-ear phones. These feature 92.5 dB of sensitivity, meaning they can be driven by typical iPod/Phone devices. The phones had the wonderful, open, airy mid-range sound characteristic of planar drivers as well as deep bass extension.
|Top, HiFiMan founder Dr. Fang Bian's goal seems to be all about bringing high-resolution audio listening to the portable world. Bottom, the HM-601 Slim player HE-400 planar magnetic design over-ear phones.|