When In Manila and you’re seeking for a headphone amplifier which fits the pocket, durable and yet still has versatility and big capabilities, the Hippo CriCri is here to fit in all those requirements. With a 2 gain switch and bass boost in a small sleek and durable package, this one is a capable contender. Don’t be fooled by its size!
Slim and small. These matched perfectly with my Hisoundaudio RoCoo P player!
Build/Packaging: The Hippo CriCri comes in a standard white box that seems to simply have came out of the factory and was just labeled with a basic sticker with the Hippo CriCri name and a check box for the color. Honestly, I would have preferred a designed box to add some points to advertising and curiosity to the product. Not at any point a deal breaker, just hoped the product would have been showed-off slightly better. The Hippo CriCri comes with its USB charging cable as well as the standard interconnect, and also a small pouch with a neck strap inside.
The blue light of… operation.
The build of the Hippo CriCri is sturdy due to the metal enclosure that it has. I love how the Hippo line-up by Jaben audio always integrates metal to its products, ensuring a sturdy build and long lasting use. The for factor of the Hippo CriCri is roughly around 2 GoVibe Mini Box amplifiers, and with comparing it to the FiiO E6, it is slightly less wide and slightly longer and thicker. But it still is relatively small!
Side by side with a kit lens cover. See how small it is?
Sound Quality: To start off, the Hippo CriCri has a gain switch and also a bass boost switch, it may be less settings than the FiiO E6 but they do have better bass control even when the bass switch is on. I noticed how the bass was muddy and scattering all over the place with the FiiO E6. The Hippo CriCri‘s bass had a more controlled and tight sound. Turning on the bass boost gives the sound a more warm presentation aside from the added quantity and body to the mid-bass. When I was using the FiiO E6 and wanted additional bass to some songs, I flick to the bass boosted EQ setting of the FiiO E6 and sometimes it’s just really a hit or miss on the bass being too distorted, muddy or surprisingly the bass being fine. With some tracks, the FiiO E6 shows bass distortion on the bass boost EQ. It is something that I have not yet encountered with the Hippo CriCri. Punching in the bass switch of the Hippo CriCri doesn’t distort anywhere. Every time I chose to want more bass out of a song, the Hippo CriCri gave a well bodied mid-bass addition that is never overly done. With the highs on the Hippo CriCri, they achieve a bit more sparkle and gets an extension. The mids are brought forward and somehow cleaned, some details are brought out. One of the things that I noticed with the Hippo CriCri is that, the bass decay and impact are well bodied but are not slow at all. Giving music their proper pacing and not feeling sluggish at all.
Brushed metal always catches my attention.
The characteristic of the Hippo CriCri having the mids brought forward and with the mid bass impact, sounds much more lush and airy. The Hippo CriCri may be small but it does pack a very energetic character, making it a mid class competitor even for such a small size. The Hippo CriCri retails for around P4,600 and can be purchased at Jaben Audio Singapore or through their online store at www.Jaben.net
Hippo CriCri portable headphone amplifier: mini contender with big sound details