HiFi Rose RS520 Streaming Amplifier £3399 Review

March 15, 2023 Comments Off on HiFi Rose RS520 Streaming Amplifier £3399 Review


I also tried the analogue and digital inputs of the RS520 using an iFi Audio ZEN Stream as a source, but could hear no real advantage over HiFi Rose’s own network platform. However, those inputs would be more than good enough should you want to use an external CD player, for example, but then there’s always the USB drive alternative. Henley Audio will sell you the HiFi Rose RSA780 USB-attached CD drive (£349), but with limited listening I have to say my inexpensive Samsung drive, which has served me well on my computer for the odd rip or burn, was sounding pretty good connected to the streaming amp.

It’s easy to get blinded by all the features on this ultra-flexible streaming amplifier, but really it’s at its best when you just kick back and let it do its stuff, as one might hope given its appeal to the ‘just add speakers’ buyer. Playing Tianxu An’s reading of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Scherzo-Fantaisie in E-flat Major’ [Alpha ALPHA855; 96kHz/24-bit], the RS520 displays a pleasing lightness of touch, making every note sound convincing, while also having all the dynamic power to bring out the scale and presence of the instrument. And it brings that same balance of qualities to the Dave Brubeck Trio’s charging version of ‘Take The ‘A’ Train’ on the remastered Live From Vienna 1967 [Brubeck Editions BELP20220301], with Joe Morello’s drums sounding especially tight and gutsy.


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