Australian Hi-Fi

Rotel’s debut streaming amplifier


We have an exciting new contender in the justadd-speakers streaming amplifier space: the Rotel S14. Pitching itself as a rival to establishe­d players such as the Naim Audio Uniti Atom and Cambridge Audio Evo 75/150, the S14 combines integrated access to streaming services, wireless playback and analogue connection­s with stereo amplificat­ion — all in one neat box.

The S14 'integrated network streamer', as Rotel refers to it, offers 150 watts of Class AB amplificat­ion into 4 ohms, which will be ample to drive most loudspeake­rs.

A 32-bit ESS Sabre digital-to-analogue converter feeds high-current output transistor­s powered by an oversized toroidal transforme­r, too.

Once connected to a home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, the S14 is a gateway to all the major music streaming services, so you can stream the libraries of Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz and more — providing you have subscripti­ons to them, of course. The machine is also Roon Ready and supports the AirPlay 2 and Google Cast platforms for one-touch streaming, alongside aptX HD Bluetooth. Naturally, the S14 can play networked files too, with it dutifully supporting PCM files up to 24-bit/384kHz PCM as well as full-fat MQA.

Want to connect sources physically to the unit? You have plenty of options, with coaxial, optical, analogue RCA and PC-USB inputs at your disposal. There is a headphones socket on the front panel for private listening, too.

Traditiona­lists will be pleased to read that, in addition to app control, the unit can be operated by a newly engineered aluminium remote, and there is a full-colour display to make such manual control easier, not to mention make the S14 worth looking at whilst listening.

The Rotel S14 ticks a lot of the right boxes for a product of such a versatile nature, so here’s hoping it performs well too. It's certainly nice to see the company particular­ly active of late, with the S14 arriving hot on the heels of the recent Michi Series and MKII amplifier and CD player.

The Rotel S14 is available now in black or silver finishes for $3,299.

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