HiFiMAN HM-650 Quick Review

HiFiMAN HM-650 Quick Review

Thanks to HiFiMAN for the samples.

Brief:  High end audiophile DAP.

Price:  US$449 or about £286

Specifications:  Dimensions:4.6〃(117mm) W x 2.8〃(72mm)D x 1.1〃(29mm)H Weight: 0.551b(250g) Battery life: 9 hours D/A Chip: WM8740 Frequency response: 20HZ-20KHz Distortion: 0.008%(Line out) S/N: 106±4dB SD Card Memory: 128G Acceptable music formats: MP3, ACC, WMA, OGG APE(16Bit/44.1KHz,48.0KHz,88.2KHz, 96.0KHz,192.0KHz) 16Bit & 24Bit: WAV, FLAC, AIFF (except 176.4KHz) Accessories Line out cable with 3.5mm plug Charger, for charging HM-650 Battery: Li-ion + 7.4v 1600 mAh, -7.4v 500 mAh) Owner’s Guide/Manual

Accessories: You get a line out connector, so dock connection to 3.5mm. Then you get the charging unit to dock connector to charge the thing.  The charger connects to the mains via a standard figure 8 connection.  Mine came with a most of Europe plug, I would hope though that UK retail units come with a UK one.

Aesthetics:  Erm. It fell out of the ugly tree and hit a fair few branches on the way down.

Build:  It may look naff but feels really rather solid in the hand, plastic but weighty and firm.

Power:  It has shedloads of power.  It very happily drove my big HD600’s on high or low gain and even then, I wasn’t getting past 6 out of presumably 10.  By reaching 6 my ears were telling me that quite loud enough thank you.  Loads of power here and loads of volume.

Sound:  Exquisitely lovely.  HiFiMAN make a big play of its Wolfson innards and your ears will notice why.  They have that traditionally Wolfson sound of a hint warm, a hint smooth and rather refined in the uppers but with just the tiniest of spikes.  So that, but as good as I have ever heard it.  It’s all that you expect but here it’s more flowing and liquid than I have found before.  The warmth and serenity often make things feel a little obsfucative.  That faintest of soft focus filters over things.  While there may be that hint there is just masses of detail.  Everything is in there with just that harsh reality ever so slightly rounded.  It’s a greatly beautiful sound.  It feels so pure, just ever so slightly warmed.  Bass though I might say at the bottom feels a little restrained.  The same with the very top end, it doesn’t always capture the most engaging or invigorating grip that the Studio V does.  Its isn’t a flaw, it’s just a tuning choice.  What you end up with is an extremely liquid and flowing sound that is deeply captivating and soooo smooth.

Value:  Err.  It’s a very narrowly specialist device.  It only one thing but it does it so achingly well.  Given it shares much with its 802 and 901 siblings you could possibly persuade yourself at only US$450 it’s a bargain next the US$1000 HM-901.  I doubt most normal people would agree though.  Having heard it though, I’d pay its asking price.

Pro’s: Sounds exquisite. Smooth and hyper liquidy.

Con’s:  Crap battery life.  Fugly.  Meh UI.

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