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Article Index
Simple Audio Roomplayer+
Sound & Conclusion
Measured performance
All Pages

SOUND QUALITY

Considering the Roomplayer+’s small size allied to all the software innovation crammed into it, you’d be forgiven for thinking actual sound quality may have taken a back seat in the design process. Thankfully, you can think again.

The Simple Audio device instead has a very clean, clear and articulate character. The sound is not clinically drab and dry in the way of some Class D amplifiers, that present music in a mechanical and emotionless way. Instead there’s a slight warmth on show which gives it a more easy-going nature than many other streamers at this price point.

 

Indeed Roomplayer+ seems to major on getting the most out of whatever format it is playing – be that a compressed MP3 or a high-resolution 24/192 file.

Streaming a 24/96 FLAC file of The Smiths’ ‘The Queen Is Dead’ and Johnny Marr’s guitar was crisp and detailed, with Morrissey’s vocal inflections sounding suitably impassioned.

Most impressively the Simple Audio had an admirable sense of rhythm, bass and drums pounding along and sounding deep and solid.

In fact its bass is a particular stand-out element, being taut and tuneful at all times. For evidence, a CD rip of The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ really drew some power from our resident Tannoy Kensington GR loudspeakers (see exclusive review next issue) without sounding lumpen or out of control.

Admittedly, the Tannoys are a bit of a mis-match for the Roomplayer+ and its Class D amplifier – highlighting its relative lack of absolute detail and lack of the sort of expansive soundstage you’ll get from a more expensive standalone Class A/B powerhouse.

But pair them with something more realistic – like a pair of Acoustic Energy 101 standmounts or the JBL Studio 290 floorstanders reviewed elsewhere in this issue – and the sound becomes considerably more suitable. Indeed the JBLs wide, expansive soundstage and powerful presentation particularly suited the Roomplayer+. Playing Beethoven’s Symphony No 2 through this combination there was a real ebb and flow to the music, with a lush and deeply textured feel to the orchestra. The violins perhaps lacked a little bite – at times sounding slightly rolled off – but not so much as to ruin the overall musical presentation.

 

 

 

 

A discrete front panel includes a headphone socket as well as a 3.5mm 

input for mobile devices

 

And let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Roomplayer+ is not just an amplifier but also a streamer and a sophisticated music management system rolled into one.

 

And in the latter task it performs better than almost any other device at this price. The menu system is easy to operate and, once used for a few hours, is admirably intuitive. The ability to create individual libraries and profiles for various users will also prove a boon for families with multiple music-lovers.

 

CONCLUSION

Simple Audio’s Roomplayer+ is an impressive and welcome addition to the streamer/amplifier market. There’s no doubt its small Apple-like form factor will win many fans outside the hi-fi community – but its overall sound and ability to amalgamate all the music on your various digital storage devices will win just as many within the audiophile community.

It has a natural, detailed sound with just a slight degree of warmth which helps add some sweetness across the midrange while the bass is fulsome and well-controlled.

Its ability for multi-room networking also means users can expand it to suit their circumstances.

Pair it with the right speakers and you have an all-in-one streaming system that is exceptional value for money.

 

 

Simple Audio Roomplayer+ streamer/amplifier £699

 

 

OUTSTANDING - amongst the best 

 

Supremely accomplished streamer/amplifier/DAC with

combines innovative control options with a sweet, natural sound.

 

FOR

- natural sound

- good bass

- customisable user options

- multi-room capability

 

 

AGAINST 

- ideally needs iPhone/iPad to 

  operate

- no remote

 

Simple Audio

+44 (0)141 3310845

www.simpleaudio.com

 



 

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