The HM-700 is Hifiman portable player for entry-level audiophile market amongst many other chinese DAP. Known for their reference class audio products i was a bit skeptical how this small player stand against HM-650 and the HM-901 which i both listen to. The HM-700 is far from the retrospect design carried by the manufacturer across their DAP range. Small lightweight, thin and compact greets me as i opened it from the box, initially i really thought that this player if a workout dap rather than an audiophile level. I guess i was wrong.
- Type: Portable Music Player
- Dimension: 49mm x 105mm x 12mm
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz
- Max Output: 50mW (1.35V @ 36Ohm)
- Battery Life: rated @ 15 hours
- Onboard Storage: 16gb / 32gb
- S/N: 91dB
- Weight: 82g
- Connecter: Balance Output / Switcher for 3pin jack
- MSRP: 249$ (32gb / RE400b)
Hifiman opt for a gunmetal finished for the HM-700. A combination of plastic and metal which resembles like phone. Three plastic orange button at the middle makes it a two toned design that functions as volume down / up while the mid button is used to wake and locks the player. A micro-USB for charging and also for the adapter included to house your 3-pin jack earphones. On the other side is where the TRRS balance output is located. The LCD screen comes with a screen protector installed. It is bright enough for outdoor used and the silver finished is quite good when the screen is off.
Out of the box:
Packaging has always been the trademark of Hifiman for customer satisfaction, and the HM-700 is no exception of it.
- warranty and manual
- switcher adapter for 3.5 pin jack
- micro-USB cable
- splitter cable
- pouch case
- cleaning cloth
- sports armband sling
Software UI and Navigation Function
There were 7 buttons in total group into two. Powering on the player is by holding the middle orange button while a quick tap during playback will lock all the other buttons. the L/R are used for volumes. 4-way navi keys are used to move from the UI which is a small increment of the Taichi firmware found on their DAP. By holding the right arrow keys prompts the option of playback mode, EQ, Sound setup, adding to favourites and deleting the file as well. The firmware is light so booting up would only take atleast less than 5 seconds. There were 3 selections from the main menu, Browse mode which is basically folder hierarchy of the storage, Music Mode such as artist, albums and genres. Settings that controls the brightness and sleep language and time settings. Sadly there is no home buttons from getting back into to root menu so you have to work your way on those 4 navi-keys.
I was surprised how the HM-700 sounded imagining its price and how it carries all those details across all the frequency. This is definitely an upgrade from a budget build like iPod as well as those who uses their smartphone as a DAP. The level of details and the accuracy is excellent. Mids has been always the sound signature of Hifiman and the HM-700 is no exception. Instruments are well positioned but not to the point it becomes artificial. Trebles are bit extended but doesnt sound too harsh nor fatiguing. The bass however is more on the midrange so bass lover wouldnt find the ommph they wanted.
Overall the HM-700 is a mid-centric type with a little warm tonality. Male vocals are such a pleasure to hear as i found myself listening the whole album without any complains. Moving from vocal tracks to rock and electronics are quite a different experience. The lack of details on the lower regions is what i am missing. Despite of that, the total tracks are so enjoyable to listen to especially if you compare it to the its price.
Pros & Cons:
- Small and Light
- Balance TRRS Output
- Battery Life
- Fast bootup
- No home button
- UI Stutter on some point
- Limited Storage
- Limited sound format
Impressive sound quality on its pricepoint. Those who wanted to step in to the audiophile experience will definitely amazed how music show be hear. The balanced TRRS is really impressive and puts this player on different league to its competitor. An almost perfect tonality given its size and price. Must have for those who desire voice centric music.