photo Contributor1.png

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[Short Impression] Hippo Box and GoVibe Single

Here are two additions to the ultra-portable amp’s world, the Hippo Box and GoVibe Single.

In picture (left to right, each row) Travagan's Colors, Hippo Box; GoVibe Derringer, FiiO E3, E5; GoVibe Single, Linearossa W1.

Hippo Box has aluminum housing and about match box size. On the front, there are the input and output jacks, and a blue LED power indicator. There is no power switch; instead the amp turns on automatically once you insert your headphone plug. On the back, there are one gain switch, one bass switch and a mini-USB port (with red LED indicator) for charging only. Power is supplied by an internal Li-ion battery. I didn’t do a battery test but it appears the battery can last well over 10 hours in one charge.

GoVibe Single is basically all plastic. It uses one AAA battery as power source and has an on/off switch and a volume pot on the side. Size wise, it is just a little bigger than a FiiO E3.

Since it lacks a volume pot, connecting the Hippo Box to a line-out is out of question. But overall performance is decent when used as more or less a booster for headphone-out on DAP. On high gain and bass boost on, it adds a little more punch to HifiMan RE0 from a Sansa Fuze. The nice thing about Hippo Box is it doesn’t take away the treble as compared to the bass boost on FiiO E3 and E5. It even compared well to iBasso T4 (with bass boost on) for being a little more transparent. 

GoVibe Single on the other hand is more comparable to the previously reviewed Linearossa W1. Both are powered by just one single AAA battery and the overall performance is similar. They all sound decent from a relatively clean and powerful source (i.e. line-out) but don’t expect to get more volume out of it. From an amplifier standpoint, it is certainly a mystery on why they don’t want to have a higher gain, even just 3dB (1x) is better than nothing.

Next to Sansa Fuze and Nano 4th Gen.

In sum, Hippo Box turns out to be better than I thought for something that doesn’t have a volume pot. It does sound fairly good, but just a little pricier ($109) compared to alternative options in the sub $100 category (FiiO E7, cMoyBB). GoVibe Single’s price ($129) is simply on the high side compare to the similar Linearossa W1 ($89). I would have opted for the cheaper iBasso T3 ($119) instead.

Disclaimer: All trademarks and logos in the website belong to their respective owners. Beside getting free review samples, I don't work for or get paid by anyone to write anything on this website, or anywhere else in that matter. Also, free review samples are never sold for any financial gain. I do buy gears and review them, but for simplicity you (the reader) should always assume what I review is free sample in nature (and thus comes with all the bias). The website does have Google Ads and Amazon Associates enabled (which I have no direct control over their content) - though I don't write review for a living, nor does the ads generates enough money to cover my breakfast (in fact, not even one breakfast per week). Listening to music and playing with audio gears are purely hobby for me. In short, I am just an audiophiles who happens to have his own blog. Not a journalist who happens to be an audiophile. Oh, and excuse my writing as I am not a native English speaker and can't afford a proofreader. Also, just because I don't write in a negative tone doesn't mean I don't write down the negative aspect of a gear. Please read them carefully. Last but not least, please note that this site uses cookies to track visitors' number and page view.

Important: All postings are my own personal opinion only and should not be treated as absolute truth. I do get things wrong just like everyone else. Always do your own research!

Lastest Posts

Copyright 2008-2016 In Ear Matters. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan