HiFi Rose updates RS250 network streamer with better sound quality

HiFi Rose updates RS250 network streamer with better sound quality
(Image credit: HiFi Rose)

HiFi Rose's RS250 network streamer only launched in the UK less than 18 months ago, but it's already getting an update. The RS250A comes with new internals that promise better sound quality, as well as a new black finish. So it's new inside and out.

The most significant changes are on the inside. The RS250A gets a new digital section and output stage, including an upgrade to the ES9028 PRO DAC chip – this is the same chip features in the NAD C 399 HybridDigital DAC Amplifier, as well as NAD’s Masters M10 and Masters M33 amplifiers. It allows the RS250A to support music formats up to PCM 32 bit / 768kHz and Native DSD512 (22.5792MHz).

This isn't the only sonic trick up the RS250A's sleeve. HiFi Rose's discrete op-amp technology partners with other premium technologies and materials (such as a full linear power circuit), resulting in a sound that the Korean firm describes as "full of character and benefitting from very low noise and distortion". Of course, we'll have to test it for ourselves before we can confirm that.

And the new black colour scheme will help the unit blend into a wider range of set-ups.

The RS250A has the same 8.8-inch LCD touchscreen as its predecessor, and lets you stream tunes from your network or connected devices through the built-in Rose OS app. Apple AirPlay 2, Roon Ready, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth 4.0 are on wireless duties, while there are built-in Qobuz, Apple Music and Tidal streaming apps. It's also MQA certified for full decoding.

You can even listen to CDs – remember those? – using an external drive hooked up via USB.

The original RS250 has been discontinued, with the RS250A taking its place. It's available now for £2349 / $2695 (around AU$4233).


Read our pick of the best music streamers: upgrade to a wireless system

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And don't miss our HiFi Rose RS201E review

Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.