My thoughts on the HiFi Rose 150B

Well, after the honeymoon wore off I ended sending the HiFiRose 150 back. It boiled down to how I’d use it and it just wasn’t 3k better than my Auralic Aries G1. The Rose is a great piece with tons of features and it sounded great. The video features (RoseTube, Tidal music videos) is certainly cool along with the display and all the other things it can do but streaming Qobuz and Tidal it did one thing noticeably better and that was MQA which I figured it would. My Anthem isn’t MQA certified so using my Auralic USB into it doesn’t give me the full MQA experience but listening to Tidal SD and Qobuz HD/SD it was pretty close. I could have added a TV to my music room to fully enjoy what the Rose does but I have a great movie/video system so it’s not something I was ultimately willing to do. So in the end, I don’t have anything bad to say about the 150, it’s built really well, sounds great and has tons of features but it doesn’t fit my needs.


Yes nice but overkill perhaps for audio only has been my impression. Seems like the bees knees for a/v fans.

I run a Cambridge Evo 150 and that nails it all pretty well for less $$$  for hifi buffs, including the on-board amplification . Just add speakers. Does have hdmi video input but have not tried that yet.

Good to hear.  I have been considering one to replace one of my Sony HapZ1ES players that no longer works, and no repair facility seems to be able to repair it.  I will save a lot of money by not buying it and get the Cambridge Audio streamer I have been looking at.

Nice summary I look at units like that with bells and whistles and agree all I need is the ability to stream music. It sure is pretty though!

One difference is Rose is touchscreen, Cambridge is not. That would be a nice added feature. My Cambridge replaces Squeezebox Touch which had touchscreen. NAD, Naim and Rose are 3 these days that do have touchscreen. FWIW. Evo 150 has a very nice remote but I almost always use Cambridge Streammagic on iPhone instead. AirPlay is a very nice streaming option for up to CD resolution. 

I’ve been looking at these too but like you all, I don’t need all of those features. It would be awesome if the release one in the future that is a dedicated streamer with the display. 🤞

I have had my 150 for about 5 months and love everything about it.  Finally settled on the Rose after going through several streamer/DACs (M10, Evo 150, Teac NT-505, RS250, C658).  I actually also have a MiniDSP SHD that is being used in another room and really like that one too.

The 150 checks all the boxes and gives me the flexibility to try different amplification.  Primarily using Class D.  Going back and forth between Purifi and a GaN 400 as my reference paired with my Elysian 2s.

Built like a tank and have not had any network/connection issues which I can't claim for the other units that I have had.  

And the VU meters, brings me back to a good old days....


@willg1985 take a look at the RS250.  Same streamer capabilities as the 150, but at a lower price point.

We are going urban (from a house to a medium sized apartment) so significant downsize to my video system. Was looking at the Hifi Rose RS201E for a simple all-in-one in the living room. 

About to pull the trigger then realized no eARC on the HDMI. WTF??? Output only??


OK it is still a really cool little box with great WAF but going back to first choice N.A.D M10. Been using a C658 and T758 v3 for a couple of years in two of my three current systems but....really wanted to try the Hifi Rose!!

I have both the Rose rs150B and rs250 which I love. The only thing is that the 250 does the same as the 150B (as far as I can tell} and is half the price as well as half the size. Every morning I stream internet radio which sounds great through the 150B. I also use the Marantz NA7004 to play music elsewhere with great sound but annoying because it takes 4 minutes to load up.

It was the blue VU meters that made me want it.... you have to love them... the rs250 also has them.

I don’t understand why you need a touchscreen display or any for that matter on a music / video server? I use my iPhone or iPad to control all of the functions on my Innuos Zenith from the couch & never have to get up unless I want to rip a CD  which is fast & easy. It has no controls or displays at all other than a power on LED.  which you can turn off. I couldn’t see any display from my listening distance anyway.  It sounds consistently excellent & never malfunctions. Seems like a decent amount of $ would go into fancy displays & controls & not where it would really benefit the final sound quality. 

I currently have the Rose 150-b with an out board dac ,I’m going to keep it , my Innuos Statement has finally sold I’m liking my current dac and server as much for a lot less .

Regarding why need a touch screen…..why need any of these things? Just because…..

Because that’s the one thing my Cambridge Evo 150 does not have that others do. Oh and a VU meter display mode.  Maybe with future software upgrades 

My only issue with NAD m10 is no headphone output.

The Rose all-in-1 Integrated does check all the boxes I think except I read the sound quality is  not quite up with some others. I heard a brief demo on Klipschorns and while not conclusive I did not hear quite what I would like. Maybe some new models will come down the pike. With these new innovative digital centric products the longer one waits the better the choices in most cases.

One feature that I liked about the rose, (I don't own one) is that it had analog inputs.  For people who combine the 2 channel audio with their home theater due to space or other restraints, it seems that the rose can then accept either R/L analog input from the home theater receiver and then output those to the amp and then the R/L channel speakers for movies or sports, OR stream to the rose, then to amp and then to R/L channel speakers for high quality 2 channel.  The audio quality, balanced connections, and this feature made the rose seem interesting to me. I don't know of too many other streamers that have that feature.  

12many I stream a lot of concerts some in 4K video straight out of the 150-B and the sound quality is up there with some of the much more expensive servers like Innuos including Rockna Net , I had all three to compare.

A couple of things many are ignoring about the RS150 vs other options like Cambridge and NAD. The DAC is the RS150 is substantially better than the DACs in other devices and is also better than the DAC in the RS250! The Rose products do a lot of ‘tricks’ but in the case of the RS150, it is first a truly highend audio device, and then a good value for those wanting a fuller experience beyond sound quality. If you aren’t able to hear the difference, it’s the rest of your system that needs attention. 😉

@boostedis completely agree.  

Streamer capabilities....RS250 = RS150b

Audio performance from the 150b is definitely better.   I have had both...

I demoed the 150 for about a week a couple of months back.  I think that some of the assertions that the sound quality is on a par with cheaper options (that don't have all the bells and whistles) is just not true.  I thought the 150 sounded a lot better than most of the cheaper options I heard and is actually a screaming bargain.  Lots of folks rave about the Matrix audio units, but I head for the HiFi Rose RS150 every day over those.  Sound quality+fit and finish+feature set is really hard to beat.  If those features are not important to you, then try other things but this is a really nice unit.

In-Shore.  Thanks for that info.  We enjoy streaming movies of concerts and then watching on TV and listening.  Glad to hear the Rose can do that as well.  Right now we use a computer and it may not be ideal.  There are some great older content and concerts out there.  Led Z, Fleetwood, some of the early england stuff and punk scene - Fun to go back and watch it  and hear it now.  

Just for some detailed comments , I wrote this up on the Audio Enthusiasts FB Page. 

My System

Anthem STR Preamp

Anthem STR Amp

Aurum Cantus V7F

SVS 3000Micro (pr in stereo)

Transparent Audio Ultra Cabling

Dedicated 11.5 x 14 treated room

iPad control

Auralic Aries G1 vs HiFi Rose 150B

Aries USB to STR Preamp

Rose XLR to STR Preamp

Testing using Tidal/Qobuz


GUI/APP: Auralic

This is more of a personal preference but the Aries app is, by default, simpler and easier to navigate. In fairness I have to spend time to figure out the 150s app more but the G1 was easy from the start.

Features: 150B all day

There are so many cool things the 150 does with music and video it's not even a contest. I have an old computer monitor hooked up which makes that experience better and I may wall mount a TV in the front of the room instead of looking off my right to see the video.

Aesthetics: 150B

Again, this is a personal preference. The display of the 150 is superior but if you are a simplistic type of person the G1 will work too. The Aries has a nice display which gives you the now playing and album artwork.

Sound quality in SD (CD Quality): Tie

More on this below but I was surprised as well. There was many songs I played in SD and nothing stood out as better using the 150B

Sound quality in HD/MQA: 150B

Regarding MQA this was a little unfair because my Anthem isn't MQA compliant and the 150 is so I wasn't surprised. However, using Qobuz, it was close. On both formats my first observation I thought to myself was the sound stage is so much clearer, defined and more clear. Sonically, the midrange is a bit more clear (both male and female vocal), high frequencies are a bit softer (shockingly with my experience with ESS DACs) and there no change in the low range.

STR vs 150B (as a preamp): STR by a lot

ARC is a great tool when used properly, even then the 150 isn't close.


Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this unit.  A salesman mentioned to me that this thing can take a song playing from a streaming service and find a corresponding video from YouTube to view along with it - i.e. not just watching a youtube video with its own sound, but rather embellishing the lossless stream with some related eye candy.

Is this true?

jji666 yes it can I have my 150-B connected to my TV I’ve been treated to a number of fabulous concerts thoroughly enjoyed using both speakers and headphones, it’s a treat apposed to the usual of just sitting there staring off into space while listening to music.

However Roses operating software is still improving it was and still is at times been frustrating , hopefully Rose will solve some of these issues soon and they will .

Thank you for sharing your experience. Good to hear… and from some of the people that really like it. If I was in the market I would want to read this.


Personally run from features. I want one thing, great sound quality. I have not touched my streamer in well over a year or looked at its readout. I just use my iPad.

So @in_shore, you like the HiFi Rose as a streamer better or just as much as the Innuos from a SQ perspective? I prefer to use an outboard DAC as well but really would love the display and am looking to upgrade my streamer from the Node 2i w/ upgraded power supply. 

A youtube video reviewer in the US stated that the 150b has a glitch with the clock, it will not stay in his time zone. A software glitch he thinks Rose will correct. Anybody have experience with that problem, a minor one.

I have yet to see somebody compare the HFR to a Lumin T2 audio-wise. With touch screens, video, etc...I wonder if audio is compromised to keep the unit at a certain price point. Myself, all the bells and whistles are not needed.


I had the Lumin U1 and sound wise it really wasn't my cup of tee. Also the Lumin App is one of the worst I've used. I sent it back within 2 weeks and bought the Auralic. So to compare vs the Rose I would take the Rose all day sound wise.

Thank you @sunshdw for pointing me to this thread.. The RS150B, I have it switch as a source between the Integrated Luxman 5945ASE and the separates (Luxman C900U/Luxman M10X). I found it's sound quality stunning compared to the Lumin D2. I had it for a few days of demo, and I couldn't wait to trade in the Lumin and get the Rose. I am still exploring the features.. I love the different Filter options.. The more I use it's features, the more I am getting use to where I think I will come to expect that in any DACs out there.. I found the HDMI into the 77" Sony OLED pretty impressive. Although with music I like to listen and not watch something. But then again watching symphonies and hearing same time is quite an experience.. I felt the bass is deeper and cleaner with the RS150B, the only other comparison I had was the Gold Note DS10, which I was unimpressed. And that went back..   

@rman9 - Congrats on the RS150B! I read from a HiFi Rose dealer that when doing critical listening it sounds significantly better if you turn off the display as well as disabling any unused inputs. You could give it a try to see what you think.

@bill_k thank you!! Yeah, I'd seen that in a youtube video. And I tried that, turning off the display. I can't say I am able to notice any difference. I have not tried disabling the unused inputs. I'll give it a try and see what happens and report back.. Thanks for the input.. 

I just got one and love the ease of changing inputs and outputs with the touch screen. Just touch the panel to switch from arc to another input or change outputs. My problem, and I hope it has a software fix, is that audio through the hdmi arc from tv and Roku  drops out periodically.  Sometimes it switches back to internal tv speakers on its own. Also it is set up for both Tidal and Qobuz. Only have Tidal right now.

I I've had the 150b for about three weeks and loving it although it provides more options that I'll ever use.  I originally had a Sonos Port which was only intended to get experience streaming in my 2 channeI set up anyway.  The service I used was Napster.  I also looked at Cambridge Audio, and listened to the Meitner.  The 150b  allowed me balanced in/out which was important.  To date I've only used Qobuz, Rose FM, and Rose Radio.  All sound great coming out of my Maggies.  I was also able to retire Napster, and my Benchmark DAC 1.  I have had issues with the hand held remote.  The original/replacement are not working.  The fact that they are not necessary isn't the point though.  This thing is a keeper  

Hi all, I currently have an Innuos Zenith MK3 + Innuos Phoenix USB running as Roon Core in my stereo system. I use the one from my Esoteric K01XD via USB cable as an external DAC. As a result of a test that I did placing a Roon Ready device (a discontinued Esoteric N05) I realized that a Roon Ready device greatly benefits the final SQ. One device I'm considering is the Rose 150.
For this reason, I would appreciate any comparison that they have been able to make with the 150 (only as a streamer) with other devices and brands, and see which is the best option for SQ quality. The environment to follow would be through Roon Labs.

I tried the Rose device and I thought the GUI was not intuitive, It would connect wireless but not wired. Even with wireless it would drop out. It was replacing a  Node 2 system and with Bluesound I had found the customer support was fabulous. I sent the Rose back.

Hi all, I currently have an Innuos Zenith MK3 + Innuos Phoenix USB running as Roon Core in my stereo system. I use the one from my Esoteric K01XD via USB cable as an external DAC. As a result of a test that I did placing a Roon Ready device (a discontinued Esoteric N05) I realized that a Roon Ready device greatly benefits the final SQ. One device I'm considering is the Rose 150.

For this reason, I would appreciate any comparison that they have been able to make with the 150 (only as a streamer) with other devices and brands, and see which is the best option for SQ quality. The environment to follow would be through Roon Labs.

@nadimjaber I've had a 150B for about a month now with a separate PS Audio Mk 2 DAC, I think it sounds wonderful, the extra video outputs are so much fun and they sound good as well, I'm enjoying watching videos of songs I love. There are many features I don't need with the 150B since I have a preamp and a separate DAC but if something goes in for service or I change components around the Hifi Rose is there to fill the gap if needed. This is one of the funnest components I've ever bought.


@donavabdear thanks for your comments. For a week I have been testing the Rose 150B in my system. There are certain peculiarities of use that I have not yet been able to solve to see if its introduction as Roon Ready improves my current Streaming system. The possibilities of the Hifi Rose are enormous, but I don't know why it won't let me do the following: Roon Core through Innuos Zenith + Innuos Phoenix USB+ USB IN input of the Hifi Rose, from there the problems. It won't let me use the USB output (although in one day I could, with a lot of effort, because it continually went to the ethernet input) I can only use the coaxial output. Is there a limitation of Hifi Rose that doesn't allow us to use USB input and USB output at the same time? Another question I have is the HDMI output. That output is only to connect the TV, is it not acceptable to connect it to the AV?

@nadimjaber You’re right the Rose 150 would be great if it was a Roon Core that’s all it’s missing. If at all possible use the Is2 connector it keeps all the signals separate even your clock information, USB connections are always rough and sorry I have never used the USB on the Rose. The ARC is simply a normal ARC HDMI in that allows you to use your TVs A/V out to go through your stereo. The regular HDMI is simply an output 4k it looks great and sounds great as well.

Also the USB problem may be as simple as picking the I/Os to turn on and off on the Rose’s control section, I’m sure you’ve done that but just sayin’. Good luck.

@donavabdear Hi, I use my esoteric K01XD as an external DAC through its USB or Coaxial inputs. I don't have IS2 on my system. Coincidentally we have common elements in our audio systems: JL Audio F113 and the CR-1.

The Rose 150b when I use the USB IN does not allow the USB output, so I can only use the coaxial output but that prevents me from hearing DSD, not even via DOP. Unless there is some configuration that allows it. Although auditory memory is generally poor and for a short time, the memory remains in my brain when I put in my system, like Roon Ready, the Esoteric N05 (discontinued model) and how I substantially improved the SQ of streaming. I do not perceive that feeling by placing the Rose 150B. There are subtleties in the sound, but they are minor and nothing that justifies the investment of that device in my system for now. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong in the configuration of the device. Thank you for sharing your appreciations. I am very grateful to you for it, when you suggestion in the settings will be welcome.

You re not doing anything wrong, as far as how it sounds is concerned. I tried both the 250 and 150. It's meh to me. A few folks on here enjoy it due to the fact that you couldn stream from Youtube, and IIRC, Amazon as well. But is it much better than say w a RaspberryPi,  iFi Zen streamer or the SOtM Neo player? Not much.

Hello everyone. After spending a season with the Rose 150B for use as a streamer and not as a DAC, the conclusions are that it is a device that in that sense complies, but it is not really the function for which it is designed and to get the most out of it. If you have a good DAC it is not worth the investment, it is better to put it as an all-in-one device. When I put it in my Innuos chain (Zenitih + Phoenix USB), it gave problems when using its USB input, since in that mode it did not allow the use of its USB DAC output, but instead forced you to resort to its other digital outputs. It seems that the best use option is through its ethernet input. If I placed it between my two Innuos as a streamer, the results at the sound level did not present a particular variation, perhaps it could be said that it was a little better having the Phoenix synchronization clock just before the USB input of my Esoteric K01XD. 

In a sound test between streamer Rose and the Esoteric N05, both using the coaxial digital output and of course using the same power cable in both cases. The results were pretty obvious, the N05 was much better as a streamer. The SQ improved in every way, I don't know if this is due to the synergy of linking two Esoteric devices, but the difference in terms of the improvement of the SQ was unquestionable, clearer, more fluent music, more natural. The music played effortlessly enough in any kind of musical genre and sonic complexity that I proceeded to purchase an Esoteric N05 from my dealer before they ran out of stock. I am very clear that the N05, at the current price, is one of the most competitive streamers on the market and a wonder if you combine it with the Esoteric K series.


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