HiFi Rose, the audio company that brings audiophile-grade performance to products designed to complement consumers’ lifestyles, is a brand of CITECH. Based in Seoul, South Korea, CITECH was established in 1967 and is overseen by its Representative Director, Daeyoung Kim.
As CITECH’s high-fidelity audio brand, HiFi Rose products feature “audio with a screen,” a reference to the models’ intuitive operation by touchscreen. Among the company’s product selection is a variety of streaming media players and two network streamers: RS 150 high-performance network streamer, and RS 201 professional high-fidelity network streamer, the latter of which is a winner of the Korea Good Design Award.
With that being said, both the RS201EE and RS150 are now being brought into the US for $1,799.99 and $3,999.00 respectively.
The RS150 is the company’s flagship audio/video streaming solution, designed for both audiophiles and the most passionate music lovers who strive to achieve unsurpassed sonics when listening to music from high-definition streaming services, USB flash storage, and hard drives, media players with digital optical outputs, WiFi, and Ethernet connections. (Roon®-ready certification is pending.)
Connections are audiophile-minded, offering AES/EBU ins and outs, XLR and RCA outputs, optical in/out, coax in/out, HDMI, ARC IN, USB-C, 2xUSB 3.0 Type-A, Micro SD, Ethernet. Even though this will perform better with Ethernet, Wireless and Bluetooth is supported via a USB dongle.
The front features an incredibly wide 14.1″ touch screen for intuitive controls, or you can use the Rose Connect app to interact with the RS150 from your couch. With 4k support, the RS150 can play video files stored locally or through your network attached storage.
For those craving an incredibly pure experience, it uses an Asahi Kasei AK4499EQ DAC chip for extremely low noise and distortion, while offering a rich analog sound. The aluminum chassis houses a linear power supply to lower noise and further reduce distortion, in addition to using a FEMTO clock which is essentially a must-have at this price point.
Designed for both avowed audiophiles and casual yet demanding listeners, the RS201E is an advanced audio/video streaming solution with an integrated two-channel amplifier (100w x 2). The RS201E gives users access to digital audio and video from multiple sources, including USB flash storage and hard drives, media players with digital optical outputs, WiFi, and Ethernet connections. (Roon®-ready certification is pending.)
The rear panel offers analog in/out, optical in/out, HDMI out, USB-C, USB 3.0 Type A, USB 2.0 Type A, Micro SD, Ethernet, and two pairs of speaker terminals which also support 4 ohm speakers. It supports 4k video output from local files, Tidal Master tracks, podcasts, YouTube, and more, which are all controlled from the 8.8″ touch screen or Rose Connect application. The local player supports high-res files up to PCM 32bit-384kHz and DSD 32bit-11.2MHz, and MQA.
This is a pretty slick and unique chassis if you want something that sounds as good as it looks. If you want an all-in-one system that handles every digital format with ease, I can see this being a great consideration. The large touchscreen is nice because it won’t look outdated over time, with expectations of software updates and more customization. A headphone output is also included if you want to get even more intimate with your music.
I think this is a great start for HiFi Rose entering the US. It makes sense to bring a couple focused products first that really showcases what the core philosophies are with the brand. The attention to detail, style, and feature set is absolutely remarkable. It feels fresh in a highly saturated market which says a lot about how nice they really are. While we haven’t been able to personally test these models, there seems to be a great foundation of components and connectivity. It’s going to come down to user interface, lack of bugs, and great sound quality.
While we do not have lists or contacts for US distributors yet, we will be sure to update this article once that becomes available. This announcement was just made, so it will likely take a few weeks before more distribution information becomes available.