Audio is a tough world to get into, often relying on expertise earned from hard-won experience for success, but the South Korean brand HiFi Rose is making a strong showing of it, selling streamers, CD drives, and amps since being established in 2017.
But HiFi Rose isn’t a rag-tag squad of a few folks. In fact, the brand has a large, multidisciplinary in-house team packed with 25 engineers spread across hardware and software but also server management, design, and quality assurance, too.
What’s more is that HiFi Rose might not be as new as its 2017 establishment might suggest. See, HiFi Rose’s parent company, Citech, was founded in 1957 and has stuck around for a massive 55 years while making more industrial-facing technology. To simply be able to survive in the tech world for that long is an accomplishment in itself.
So, why branch out to audio? According to HiFi Rose, the company came to life after Citech engineers and audiophiles were frustrated by premium hi-fi products, so they set out to “develop a new style of product that put user experience as a key factor in product design.”
Plus, Citech engineers already had experience with audio and video tech, priming them for the transition. Citech sells digital kiosks alongside set-top boxes (think cable boxes), so engineers were already getting their hands dirty with AV technology for years before HiFi Rose. Then, everything HiFi Rose makes is manufactured and assembled in South Korea, which is relatively rare in audio.
All this experience and background adds up to HiFi Rose’s mission: to deliver premium audio kit that “benefits from ‘bespoke, in-house knowledge’ rather than ‘off the shelf’ solutions other manufacturers may use.” This is why HiFi Rose is targeting audiophiles who don’t just want high-quality performance but also convenience and intuitive operation, too.
What Hi-Fi? hasn’t reviewed a ton of HiFi Rose products just yet, but What Hi-Fi? awarded the RS201E four-stars in a review, and other streamers from the company show promise like the RS520, not to mention the more niche kit HiFi Rose makes like its CD drive. Of course, What Hi-Fi? can’t vouch for untested products, but by all accounts, HiFi Rose is a brand to keep an eye on.