Jaben Penang have send some metal snack for me yesterday.Yes, it is Hippo company latest product, named Biscuit. After the Hippo’s Gumstick have create a hype in audiophile world. Hippo bring this latest contender into the portable market. Hifiman,IBasso,Colorfly,Cube and Hippo are few player in the market that make audiophile portable player,which is quite minimal when came to features.
What make this tiny,feature-less, screen less stand out from the crowded portadio audio player market? From the history and previous products from Hippo company, we already pretty sure that, a budget conscious audiophiler will get most of the benefits from this.
Design and Specification
I won’t be craving long this time,below is the spec that I copied from Jaben online store:
*Support Audio Format : MP3, WAV
*Suitable headphone impedance : 16 ohms – 300 ohms
*Charge time : <1.5 hours (By USB)
*Play time : Around 10 hours
*Dimensions : 62.88mm x 35.7mm x 11mm
*Weight : 30g
*Memory type : External MicroSD card
From the spec sheet,we already know that this is a simple player! Yes,very simple.
I have always thought that this is a very big size player,even bulky,but from the first time I get the packaging(Review unit) from Jaben, I am truly surprise,very small,and light. As I open the packaging inside the car, I was stunned,it was so small,even tiny! I can’t believe this,from what I saw from the internet,I thought it was really bulky, I was wrong!
So how is the design? Beauty is in the eyes of beholder,for me the simplicity of this player simply strike me, it is beautiful,sturdy,tank like built quality, very small and portable, don’t have all of those eyes shining feature, but all of these keep this player simple,simple and simple. In another word, just create for those who put audio quality in first place. I find nothing bad for keep it simple design in this player, the design is simple and straight forward.
How about the flaw of the design/engineering on this player?
Most of the time I am really satisfied with the engineering and interface of this player,but I do made some question and answers myself. The answer below is all based on my personal opinion.
1) Why there is no screen?
Yes, I too,for the very first time when Hippo released this player,I yelled that why there is no screen on this player? Why and whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?? But after some time with this player, I appreciate the design, believe it or not, but I have not complaining about the screen issues after getting this player, the interface is straight forward. Adding a screen might cause more expansive price and durability issue.
2) Why there is no FLAC,APE and other file format support?
Until now, I do hope that added supported format type will be better but it is ok for me,most of the time, I can’t really hear big different from lossy and lossless files. But it will be better if supported FLAC and APE,if possible through firmware update.
3) Why no built in memory?
No need as it already support external memory card,I think this is better as you can keep few song in few memory cards, for different type of song, different purposes. Easy and instrument songs for night time listen, R&B songs for excising use,ETC.. It can support max 32GB of microSD card.
4) No earphone/earbud provided?
As I understand, add another RM30 you will get a Hippo Pearl earphone,heard that it is good but never encounter with Pearl before this. No need provide one,as consumers who will buy this might probably own a earphone/headphone that is few time more expensive than the Mp3 player.
5) What you hope it have to be better player?
Quite a lot, I can add on countless feature on it but for me the most important would be:
a) Bass Boost function, boost the bass for those gym users.
b) Add a strap or lanyard holder,clip on the body will be very much appreciated,and this is not a difficult design, will become extra convenience.
c) Stop blinking while playing the song,very annoying especially night time music listening session.
d) Please, although simple, please add a skip to next folder button,will be thousand times easier to navigate the song from a screen-less player.
e)Battery life,man,it is really way too short.
But even without all of these features, it is still a standalone price to performance ratio portable player in the market.
Now come to the most important part,how is the sound quality?
I am pairing it with JVC S500,Creative Aurvana Live, Feels Pro900,Soundmagic E10,Beyerdynamic COP,Yamaha HPH 200,Incase Sonic, with CmoyBB V2.03 and Govibe Mini amp.
I put in some WAV file format songs into the memory card once I got this player, it is very nice I can say.
赵家珍 – 琴 (WAV Album)
This is the album that I played through this player,from the first song,广陵散，the sound is super CLEAR and very TRANSPARENT! I just can’t believe how I feel, I can feel the vibration of the string,every notes sounded so clear,very clear. Neutral and enjoyable.
Vocal is nice,clear and the distant is good,not too up front that can spoil the music presentation, bass in nice,full and detailed,but for sure,not enough for bass head or those who expect more bass. But the bass quality itself is nice. Midrange sounded detailed.
Dave Koz – Variable songs (WAV)
I thought it will be great but it is just good, but still enjoyable, except a bit bright,just a bit brighter than what I prefer,but overall,still nice.
David Guetta – Without you
Vocal sounded clear,dynamic,but sadly,bass is not enough for this kind of music,the bass is there, but quantity is not enough,not hitting deep and heavy enough,just present,fast decay bass. For gym user,I won’t recommend this player,too neutral,except you play love sond while pumping iron.
The Cranberries – Linger
Great, and keep up with the song. Sounded nice.
The Goo goo Dolls – Iris
Again,clear but light,not energizing enough. too light, neutral signature.
蔡琴 – 渡口
Tsai Chin’s vocal is clear and light,with some sweetness. Transparent and clear.Vocal line is not thick,but not overly thin anyway. bass is there,good quality of bass, AKG-like bass,I love it.
What can I say more? This is truly a good player. If you are like me,love to listen to music in night time when light switched off, when it is silence, this is the best that I can recommended for the price. Sound is neutral,sound stage is good,instrument separation is great,design and built quality is top notch, battery life is quite impressive, powerful, small and the price is friendly. For me, if you are searching for a good audio portable player with tight budget,this is definitely the one. Audio quality is obviously better than most of the competitor in similar or few times expensive than it is. The only flaw which can’t be really counted as flaw,as this is a player for pure audiophile people, but it would be bonus if have those add-on which I think might not even cost more. If you put audio quality more important than everything else, and wish that a portable system that will do good, this player is a MUST. No problem, I recommended this player to you happily :)