HiFi Rose RS520 Just-Add-Speakers System “Does It All”
HiFi Rose RS520 combines the RS150's streaming smarts with the RA180 integrated amplifier's high-quality sound.
The RS520 is HiFi Rose's new all-in-one network audio streamer. It is said to take inspiration from the Korean company's RS150 flagship network streamer (we were impressed by the RS250) and the RA180 integrated amplifier, which has been making headlines since its launch earlier this year. The combined result promises to be an impressive, just-add-speakers, one-box hi-fi system.
The RS520 features a built-in network player, DAC, and integrated amplifier, all wrapped in an elegant chassis - four sides of which are a single piece of aluminium. Not only does this cut down the parts needed to construct the new all-in-one, but it also promises to reduce the risk of vibrations transferring through the body.
Within the digital stage, you will find a class-leading ES9038PRO DAC chip alongside an ultra-precise femto clock which should result in optimised conversion and signal handling.
In the 250W per-channel power amplifier stage, the same Class AD technology found in the RA180 amplifier is used. We're told that HiFi Rose's in-house discrete operational amplifiers and Gallium Nitride FETs feature, which, the company says, makes the RS520's output capable of a far more natural, analogue-like tone. HiFi Rose states that the RS520 is capable of a 10Hz – 83kHz (+1 / -3dB) frequency response and an S/N Ratio of 109dB (@ 250W Speaker Output).
As well as speaker cable binding posts, the RS520 offers one each of Optical, COAX, USB and HDMI eARC inputs alongside outputs of an unbalanced RCA, Optical, COAX, and HDMI 2.0 (up to 3840 x 2160 / 60Hz). Media connectivity is well accommodated, including a trio of USB 3.0 ports (support up to 10TB) and a SATA SSD (support up to 4TB).
Of course, the 8.1kg, 346 x 328 x 127 mm HiFi Rose RS520 is a modern component designed around streaming, central to which is the ROSE OS, a customised Android 7.1 operating system, running on a CPU of a Dual-core Cortex-A72 up to 1.8GHz and Quad-core Cortex-A53 up to 1.4GHz paired with a Mali-T864 GPU and LPDDR4 4GB RAM.
Rose OS also offers support for Roon Ready, Spotify Connect and AirPlay, as well as enabling you to play music and video files from a local storage device (USB, MicroSD or SATA) or networked libraries via a DLNA connection to any NAS drives, for instance.
Additionally, there are built-in apps for TIDAL, Qobuz and Apple Music. Moreover, with the TIDAL, you also get access to the service's video streaming content along with full MQA decoding.
Incidentally, the videos can be played on your big screen TV via HDMI or on the RS520's 12.6-inch wide, 1920 x 515 resolution LCD touchscreen panel. This is also handy when using Rose Tube, which gives you access to YouTube for music and video playback.
Finally, the CD and CD Ripping apps allow you to attach any standard external CD-ROM drive for convenient CD playback or to rip CDs in high-quality to any local storage device, all via the touchscreen interface.
The HiFi Rose RS520 has an SRP of £3,399 (approx US $3,600 - International pricing hasn't been announced) and will be available in black or silver from October 2022.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION
Want to share your opinion or get advice from other enthusiasts? Then head into the Message Forums where thousands of other enthusiasts are communicating on a daily basis.
CLICK HERE FOR FREE MEMBERSHIP
Each time StereoNET reviews a product, it is considered for an Applause Award. Winning one marks it out as a design of great quality and distinction – a special product in its class, on the grounds of either performance, value for money, or usually both.
Applause Awards are personally issued by StereoNET’s global Editor-in-Chief, David Price – who has over three decades of experience reviewing hi-fi products at the highest level – after consulting with our senior editorial team. They are not automatically given with all reviews, nor can manufacturers purchase them.
The StereoNET editorial team includes some of the world’s most experienced and respected hi-fi journalists with a vast wealth of knowledge. Some have edited popular English language hi-fi magazines, and others have been senior contributors to famous audio journals stretching back to the late 1970s. And we also employ professional IT and home theatre specialists who work at the cutting edge of today’s technology.
We believe that no other online hi-fi and home cinema resource offers such expert knowledge, so when StereoNET gives an Applause Award, it is a trustworthy hallmark of quality. Receiving such an award is the prerequisite to becoming eligible for our annual Product of the Year awards, awarded only to the finest designs in their respective categories. Buyers of hi-fi, home cinema, and headphones can be sure that a StereoNET Applause Award winner is worthy of your most serious attention.