Headphone Heights

Hifiman HM-601 -- First Impressions

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First impressions. The Hifiman HM-601 is just plain toe-tapping fun to listen to. It plays music in a way that is sounds musical. I wonít make an argument for accuracy or high resolution, but if you want music that you want to listen to and enjoy this is a device worth your consideration.

For those of you that havenít heard of the Hifiman HM-601, it whatís called a portable DAP (Digital Audio Player) with a built-in amp, or by analogy an IPOD-like device such as the IPOD Classic or IPOD Touch that doesnít require that you dive into Apple world.

Iím using it with two different headphones: Etymotic ER-4S (IEMs, in ear monitors) and Sennheiser HD530ís over the ear phones (now 20 years old, an early item in the HD600 line). Both of these phones are generally highly regarded. From what I understand each of these phones are a difficult load for any of the IPOD line and most other portable DAPs, but they do swimmingly well with the Hifiman HM-601.

So, for any of you looking for a portable DAP, the HM-601 does a wonderful job. And it doesnít need a separate amp device to drive quality headphones, as IPODs and many other portable DAPs do.

The HM-601 is a little quirky and if you demand an IPOD-like interface this is not for you. But if you just want to listen to music that is musical give it a look.


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