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HisoundAudio Rocoo-A review

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HisoundAudio Rocoo-A
  • HisoundAudio Rocoo-A
  • HisoundAudio Rocoo-A
  • HisoundAudio Rocoo-A
  • HisoundAudio Rocoo-A
  • HisoundAudio Rocoo-A
  • HisoundAudio Rocoo-A

Summary

Our Score:

7

The HisoundAudio Rocoo-A is aiming to capitalise on that subset of digital audio player (DAP) buyers who actually care about the quality of the music played back by their device, not just how funky they look dancing in silhouette with it. It may not be a massive market, as the iPod's market share shows, but it exists.

The first sign that HisoundAudio has geared its Rocoo-A towards quality reproduction is the use of a Class A amplifier. Generally these aren't seen in DAPs because of their terrible inefficiency. However, HiSoundAudio reckons that it's mitigated that problem to manageable levels in the Rocoo-A.

This high power-draw amp does seem to directly affect battery life, though. HisoundAudio claims 10-hours of battery life, which isn't exactly class-leading - the likes of the Apple iPod nano and the Sony NWZ-E443 will easily manage double that. Nonetheless, we managed to get two day's use while in the office out of the Rocoo-A before a re-charge was required, which will prove good enough for most.

The Rocoo-A has 4GB of internal memory, but that's not the limit of its capacity. There's also an SDHC card reader at the device's end, which will accept cards up to 16GB in capacity. In theory, therefore you can actually listen to as much music as you can carry with you on memory cards. That's a level of flexibility we wish other manufacturers would adopt, so kudos to the Rocoo-A on that front.

What's particularly nifty is that the Rocoo-A also serves as a card reader for any media inside it. Connecting the player via its mini-USB connection, which is also used to charge it, gives access to both the internal memory and any inserted card separately. It's a small detail, perhaps, but one that makes managing your portable media collection a little bit easier.

copilus

June 5, 2010, 12:08 pm

I belive PAA-1 are a striped-down version of Sennheisers's MX-500.

GoldenGuy

June 5, 2010, 12:11 pm

Robust sound - small package - expandable memory. So better than the Clip+, Hugo?

Premfab

June 5, 2010, 2:06 pm

I can't see this taking off.





In this day and age, rightly or wrongly, sound quality has become less import than convenience, style, etc.





MP3s being a good example.





The design of this device lets it down - also it doesn't sport any useless widgets that seem to be an absolute necessity nowadays for success.

Hugo

June 5, 2010, 4:33 pm

GolenGuy - I've not used a Clip on so long I couldn't really say.

kingosticks

June 5, 2010, 5:40 pm

Cheers for bringing this to my attention, I'd not heard of this and I like the sound of it. I'd much rather have a simple text display and use my battery to power a decent amp than have a flashy colour screen to awkwardly watch videos on. I think the screen is clearly a sensible choice here. It would be nice to have directly compared this to other high-quality audio devices; comparisons against apple's products with their focus on style over sound-quality seems inappropriate. And just out of interest, why the 7/10 on price? You don't seem to touch on it in the review. Is £83 expensive? If we are still comparing with apple I don't see how it can be!

Chocoa

June 5, 2010, 8:35 pm

Forgive this stupid question. But why would you want a class A amp for use with lossy codec players as mentioned? Surely its hardly going to give of its best in that scenario..

cliche

June 5, 2010, 9:47 pm

I'd buy it - I never buy music players due to their sound quality, but this has me sold

ChrisC

June 5, 2010, 11:53 pm

I'd buy it as well, £83 sounds reasonable if it delivers unique sound quality.





Chocoa - Maybe, but I bet it would still sound better than an 'ordinary' MP3 player with the same files!

David 33

June 6, 2010, 12:13 am

I'm not convinced. I've just added a 32Gb micro SD card to my 8Gb Clip+, so I've got 40Gb in a tiny little thing with outstanding sound. Add some decent earbuds like the q-jays or Klipsch X10 and you're made. Bliss.

Rocklett

June 6, 2010, 6:37 am

The Clip+ is an obvious competitor, an overview of how this compares to something like the Clip+ in sound terms would be very useful. I'd like to buy a good sounding mp3 player, my old but brilliant Rio Karma is gradually dying.





One problem the Clip+ seems to have is it takes a long while to synch the tracks when a (fullish) memory card is inserted, how does this player cope?





Did you also say the limit for memory card is 16GB, not 32GB?

jsg 1

June 6, 2010, 8:52 pm

Is there any useless software likt Sonic stage or EmoDio provided with this? Or does it work with iTunes (or drag and drop)?





I also have a question about the sound quality. I bought the Samsung YP-R1 because you graded it as a "9" in sound quality but the sound quality on it was actually quite disappointing. Is this clearly better?

timple

June 7, 2010, 1:30 pm

If the clip+ had bluetooth stereo as a source (so it could drive car systems) and receiver (so it could be a remote for an iphone) and bluetooth headset capability (so the user could also take calls from the iphone - it already has a mic) it would be fantastic.

bcstyle

June 8, 2010, 6:09 pm

I'd take sound quality over style, widgets, video playablity ect on recent daps ANYDAY/


Then again Iam an audiophile :)

David

June 11, 2010, 8:01 pm

I'm somewhere in the middle, despite being both an audiophile and a gadget freak.





However one must for me is Replay Gain support, which I've never seen on a player, which is why I'm sticking with my 5 year old Samsung YP-Z5.





I'm also a bit dubious about the benefit of a Class A verses Class D (e.g. B&O's ICEpower) partnered with a high grade DAC.

ChrisT

October 8, 2010, 11:13 am

I'd like to caution buying products from the company Hisound. Their last player AMP3 Pro had major issues, Hisound did not honor their warranty. On a very strange note, they selectively gave out firmwares - it was bizarre to see people begging for firmwares. They flooded Head-fi forums with their employees (disguised, of course), now the member Hisound-uk is banned over there.

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