Rotel's new home theatre amplifiers look magnificent, are seriously powerful

Home theatre amplifier: Rotel RMB-1587MKII
(Image credit: Rotel)

If you like your home cinema kit to look and sound both beefy and sophisticated (and what self-respecting AV fan doesn't?), Rotel's new multi-channel power amps could be for you.

Measuring 24 x 43 x 46cm, these are undeniably hefty bits of kit, but thanks to Rotel's trademark brushed metal finish and a series of vents on the fascia, there's something very sci-fi monolith about the way they look – at least to these eyes.

You would of course hope for amplifiers as large as these to have the power to back it up, and these new Rotels certainly seem to deliver on that front. The seven-channel RMB-1587MKII is said to deliver 155 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 250 watts per channel at 4 ohms, while the five-channel RMB-1585MKII is even more powerful, delivering a claimed 210 watts per channel at 8 ohms and a massive 340 watts per channel at 4 ohms. In stereo, they can apparently deliver 335 watts and 440 watts per channel respectively.

Home theatre amplifier: Rotel RMB-1587MKII

(Image credit: Rotel)

Other than the number of channels and amount of power they deliver, the two amplifiers are pretty much the same. Both feature a Class AB amplifier design built around two apparently massive, in-house manufactured toroidal transformers that supply 'stable current' to eight high-efficiency capacitors.

It is generally the case that with great power comes great heat, but Rotel has equipped both the RMB-1587MKII and RMB-1585MKII with four 'thermostat-controlled, variable-speed ultra-low-noise fans'.

Home theatre amplifier: Rotel RMB-1587MKII

(Image credit: Rotel)

RCA and Balanced XLR inputs on the rear of each model give you options when it comes to sending them signals from your home cinema processor or AV receiver, and while the amps are huge, they are also designed to be rack-mounted, with rack 'ears' available separately.

The five-channel RMB-1585MKII is priced at £3599 / $4199 / AU$4999 and the seven-channel RMB-1587MKII is £3799 / $4399 / AU$5499. Both models will be available imminently.


These are the best AV amplifiers you can currently buy

This is everything you need to know about Class A, Class A/B and Class D amplification

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.

  • Friesiansam
    If you’re the kind of person that admires the aesthetics of concrete blocks, I’m sure it does look magnificent.