HiFi Rose's stylish RA280 amplifier packs flagship tech for nearly half the price

HiFi Rose RA280 in black and silver finishes
(Image credit: HiFi Rose)

HiFi Rose has a new integrated amplifier out, and, as is now expected from the Korean brand, it looks quite the stunner. The HiFi Rose RA280 is an integrated amp with a built-in phono stage and retains much of the same technology featured in the flagship RA180, which turned our heads with its intricate fascia when it launched two years ago.

The RA280 is a less ornate but no less stylish edition. The features set has been pared down to a more sensible list compared to its older brother, ditching the multiple speaker terminals and moving coil phono compatibility, as well as the collection of dials, knobs, switches and sliders adorning the front panel. But don't worry, the more minimal aesthetic of the new stereo amp still sports a few tactical dials for volume, input selection, bass and treble tonal controls, and two lit-up VU meters, of course. 

Despite the pared-down philosophy, the RA280 "promises to still deliver high performance that packs a punch", says HiFi Rose.

How? Like its flagship sibling, the RA280 features HiFi Rose's own Class AD amplification technology. This combines the advantages of a typical Class D design (high efficiency, higher output) with the more natural sound quality you get with traditional Class AB designs. The brand cites being able to use more innovative materials – such as Gallium Nitride FETs instead of the more conventional Silicon field-effect transistors – to achieve an accurate amplification stage that sounds more like a "pure analogue" amplifier.

HiFi Rose RA280 rear panel connections

(Image credit: HiFi Rose)

In the RA280, this Class AD amplification offers a hefty 250 watts of power per channel (into 4 ohms and 8 ohms), and uses a two-stage analogue filter to get the best possible performance. In addition, the power supply design – first developed for its bigger brother – employs Silicon Carbide FET technology, whose high voltage support and heat resistance properties allow the integrated amp to deliver a more efficient and clean output without generating too much heat.

The number of connections in the RA280 is trimmed down from its flagship sibling, but there's still plenty enough to connect your sources. There are three pairs of unbalanced line-level inputs, one pair of balanced XLR analogue inputs, a moving magnet phono input, a more standard two pairs of speaker terminals (instead of eight), and a subwoofer output.

The amp itself looks beautifully crafted, with the aluminium chassis – available in silver or black – offering a luxurious look as well as isolating the internal circuitry from outside interferences. The vents on the top of the panel to further aid heat dissipation.

Available from February onwards across authorised retailers in the UK, the HiFi Rose RA280 integrated amplifier will cost £2999 / €3299 / AU$5399. That's nearly half the price of the flagship RA180, which launched at £5499 / AU$9299 in 2022, and we can't help but be pleased that the Korean brand has brought its tempting hi-fi products down to a – relatively – lower cost by streamlining its list of features. We imagine this will no doubt be welcome news to many; let's hope its sound performance impresses just as much.


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Kashfia Kabir
Hi-Fi and Audio Editor

Kashfia is the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and first joined the brand over 10 years ago. During her time in the consumer tech industry, she has reviewed hundreds of products (including speakers, amplifiers and headphones), been to countless trade shows across the world and fallen in love with hi-fi kit much bigger than her. In her spare time, Kash can be found tending to an ever-growing houseplant collection and hanging out with her cat Jolene.