HIFIMAN Electronics founder and CEO Dr. Fang Bian has carved a niche with his company in the premium audio market, most recently, with its introduction at CanJam NYC earlier this year of the Sundara over-ear planar headphone and the Shangri-La Jr. electrostatic headphone and tube-driven amplifier system.
Now, Bian is turning his attention to a changing market where wireless streaming is strongly trending. “In the last years, the Bluetooth market has really developed but there have still been drawbacks in sound quality. Most devices can be made better. And in portable players, we know how to make something small sound good.”
Later this summer, he intends to prove that, pushing the envelope in high-resolution sound by offering as a first salvo in a range of products a small-footprint portable digital audio player, Model R2R2000, at under $3,000.
The player will make use of an open standard designed to increase sound quality and minimize distortion: LHDC. “Using this standard, we have the capability to provide very small, high-level speaker drivers that would be usable in headphones,” Bian said.
The company is working on staggered introductions beginning this summer of the aforementioned portable audio device as well as headphones and a Bluetooth receiver component.
The R2R2000, which supports the LHDC standard, boasts a diminutive size, given its impressive capabilities – it is the dimensions of a business car and about a half inch in depth, and weighs about five ounces. It has a simple interface, and is energy-efficient, with a Lithium-ion battery providing up to eight hours of battery life when in Hi-Fi mode and 30 to 40 hours in energy-saving (ECO) mode.
“With the coming of 5G technology, streaming will be everything and Bluetooth devices with high-level streaming capability will be in demand. And improved Bluetooth sound will require better products,” Bian said.