HiFi Rose RS150B: High performance network streamer

HiFi Rose RS150B
HiFi Rose RS150B

Twenty years ago, it was simply impossible to imagine a music source like the HiFi Rose RS-150B. Even now, to understand the capabilities of this amazing device, it takes time to get acquainted. After all, the RS-150B is a DAC with a high-end chipset from ESS and a clock generator with femtosecond accuracy, and a preamplifier with XLR and RCA outputs, and an Internet-connected Android device with applications for TIDAL and Qobuz music services, SSD drives (optional) , USB, MicroSD, and Roon and DLNA network client, video player with UltraHD 4K HDMI output. Inside the weighty case made of milled aluminum, there is a place for a real linear power supply with a toroidal transformer and power reserve, and the entire front panel is occupied by an IPS display with a touchscreen for control and a set of shells (skins) with working dial level indicators or imitation of controls of an old radio.

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What caught your attention specifically about the Rose RS150B? Yes, perhaps that’s all. Starting from the fact that the device is made very beautifully and with high quality, and ending with huge functionality. The idea itself of making kernel control on Android is not new; many excellent and expensive portable players work exactly according to this scheme. Why not then transfer this idea to stationary devices? So they moved it. And it turned out well. Partially, the device inside is quite a Cortex computer with 4 GB of RAM.

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Next about appearance. Making the entire front panel in the form of a huge hi-res touchscreen is truly beautiful and literally touching. The screen is pleasant, with many settings (from brightness and a set of visual themes, to the configuration of icon buttons on the screen), response without any time delays at all. Great idea. And what about the setup and configuration of inputs that pleasantly surprised many, when the front panel displays an interactive drawing of the rear panel and all connectors? Smart and beautiful. A well-made, weighty body made of milled aluminum adds the feeling of a well-made item. And in general, everything is made with high quality and accuracy from all sides, from the body and legs to the back panel and connectors. It is clear that they did not save even on small things. And it’s clear why this device won design awards faster than all the others.

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The delivery package includes a remote control (although I didn’t even unpack it with the native application), a WiFi/BT dongle, screws for installation inside an SSD or HDD drive, and a regular network cable. Among the options on sale is the HiFi ROSE CD Drive RSA780 CD drive, which connects via USB and can work as a transport and be used to copy CD-Audio to an SSD/HDD drive installed inside the device.

The functionality of the device is close to prohibitive, and maybe even partially redundant. So we need to understand this point by point. Judging by the configuration of inputs and outputs, HiFi Rose RS150B suggests different usage scenarios. For example, a player with local music storage (installation of a 2.5-inch disk with a capacity of up to 4 TB inside is provided, and what’s nice is that the installation is custom, without any “own” disks and a mandatory service center) and with removable drives (USB, SD card) . As a network player, the RS150B can also receive music from storage devices on a shared local network and NAS. Having a whole set of digital outputs – both AES/EBU, coaxial and optical, as well as a pair of I2S outputs on DVI and RJ45 connectors – the device easily turns into a transport for an external DAC.

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There are also enough inputs for the vast majority of use cases. There are AES/EBU, SPDIF RCA and Toslink, there is a USB Audio input and the ability to connect to the network via wire or using a standard Wi-Fi/Bluetooth dongle. There is an HDMI ARC input. And there is a full 4K HDMI output, with support for video functions. One analog source can be connected to the RCA analog input.

The outputs are balanced and unbalanced, which can be adjustable (in the sense of the device working as a preamplifier) ​​or fixed, but for the fixed output there are many adjustable output voltages available. At first glance, matching a device with a preamplifier is easier than many other sources.

Specifications Rose RS150B

DAC: ESS Technology, SABER ES9038PRO,
Audio formats: 32-bit/384 kHz, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, DFF, DSF, AAC, CDA, AMR, APE, DSD512 (22.5792 MHz)
Video formats: ASF, AVI, MKV, MP4, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 H.263, H.264, H.265, VC-1, VP9, ​​VP8, MVC, 4K / 2K 60fps
Screen: 14.9″ Wide HD IPS Touch Screen LCD
Audio inputs: 1 x Optical, 1 x S/PDIF (RCA), 1 x (RCA), 1 x AES/EBU, 1 x HDMI ARC, 1 x USB-B , 2 x USB3.0, 1 x MicroSD, 1 x SSD, Bluetooth, WiFi, Ethernet
Audio outputs: 1 x Optical, 1 x S/PDIF (RCA), 1 x (RCA), 1 x (XLR), 1 x I2S (DVI), 1 x I2S (RJ45), 1 x AES/EBU
Dimensions: 430 x 316 x 123 mm
Weight: 13 kg

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