Henley Audio is thrilled to announce the HiFi Rose RS520, the brand-new all-in-one network audio streamer. Taking design and technical inspiration from the flagship RS150 network streamer and the stunning RA180 integrated amplifier, the new all-in-one is described as a true high-end solution with enviable flexibility and one-box convenience.
The RS520 includes a built-in network player, DAC, and integrated amplifier in its attractive aluminium chassis. It’s designed as a ‘just add speakers’ solution but adds a modern design and high-quality sound to the mix.
The RS520 is more than just a source device with a built-in amplifier. It is billed as an all-in-one product, with each stage expertly specified to deliver a performance that rivals multi-box systems. Even when matched with larger or more ‘difficult’ speakers, the maker says it delivers a more refined sound quality that is controlled and uniform across the frequency range.
Four surfaces of the RS520’s housing are made from one piece of high-durability aluminium, reducing the number of separate parts required to produce the casework. This ‘one piece’ production method reduces the risk of vibrations transferring through the body and significantly reduces standing waves, which can affect the end sound quality.
Like all Rose streamers, the RS520 is most identifiable by its large multi-touch screen. Measuring 12.6in wide, the 1920 x 515 resolution LCD panel provides a clear display that is smooth and easy to interact with for control of the listening experience. Core transport controls can also be found on top of the RS520, for ease of use.
At the centre of the RS520 is ROSE OS, HiFi Rose’s Android-based operating system, which opens a world of music and video to the streamer.
Rose OS allows users to play music and video files from a local storage device (USB, MicroSD or SATA), or access files elsewhere on the home network with a DLNA connection to any NAS drives or other storage devices. The Music app has been created to give a clean presentation of all connected music sources and is easy to navigate and use. Rose OS also features built-in apps for Tidal, Qobuz and Apple Music – giving access to extensive streaming libraries. The Tidal app also gives access to the service’s music video streaming content for playback on the RS520 screen or via the HDMI output. The RS520 is also an MQA decoder, for full playback of Tidal Master tracks.
Elsewhere, the CD and CD Ripping apps allow users to attach any standard external CD-ROM drive for convenient CD playback, or to rip CDs in highest-quality to any local storage device in a quick and intuitive way, all through the touch-screen interface. The Radio and Podcast apps give access to extensive live radio and podcast databases, while Rose Tube gives access to YouTube for music and video playback. Rose OS also offers support for Roon Ready, Spotify Connect and AirPlay, effectively bringing an entire digital audio experience into one system.
But in addition to offering extensive music access, Rose OS is also engineered for high-performance sound. The Rose Audio Architecture within Rose OS can deliver pure audio data to a DAC without loss, thanks to the Rose Audio Server, developed in-house by HiFi Rose to utilise various signal processing technologies. These technologies effectively involve separating the audio data from all other processes required to run the operating system, meaning the audio signal is never affected when you are controlling other aspects of the RS520.
Connect what you need
The RS520 is designed to be the centre of any audio system, and as such it boasts a variety of inputs and outputs. In addition to the analogue line input, there are also digital coaxial, optical and USB inputs, as well as an HDMI eARC input for controlling TV sound. For connection to a wider system, in addition to the speaker binding posts, there are also options to connect to an external amp or DAC, as well as the HDMI output for watching video content on a connected screen.
Engineered for sound
Every aspect of the RS520 is engineered for high-quality sound. Internally, key functions are split across separate boards with individual power feeds for optimised operation. Within the digital stage, the use of the ES9038PRO DAC chip alongside an ultra-precise femto clock allows for optimised conversion and signal handling. Similarly, in the IV circuit HiFi Rose have employed its own, brand new discrete operational amplifiers to deliver a sound with a wide sense of space and a warm tone.
In the 250W per-channel power amplifier stage, the same Class AD technology found in the RA180 amplifier is used. By using Gallium Nitride FETs as opposed to more common Silicon FET technology, the amplifier output is capable of a far more natural tone, like you would typically expect from an analogue design.
Do it all with HiFi Rose
The RS520 is billed as a true full-feature product, but designed in a way to deliver a pure, warm sound that can typically only be experienced from an expensive separates system. With the added benefit of Rose OS, it is not just a series of convenient features forced together, it is a meticulously engineered device that offers every feature in the highest possible quality, says the maker.