Pros: Absolutely fantastic sound - streamlined design - good value for money
Cons: User interface is too simple
Here we go again with yet another HiSound Audio review, instead this time we’re taking a look at their new RoCoo P digital audio player. Without getting into specifics and going on and on with a fancy and engaging intro, I’d rather just get straight down to the basics. The RoCoo P is one of the best sounding digital audio players I’ve heard to date, and it has an amazing price point to match the performance. So, without any further ado, let’s take a deeper look at the all new RoCoo P.
Before I even begin to discuss the sound in the RoCoo P, I feel as if though there have been a few design changes that will excite a lot of people looking for a DAP or even an upgrade from the Studio-V. The Studio-V had a very thick chassis, and was very uncomfortable to hold in the hands due to the massive weight and the rather sharp bezel. I think HiSound noticed that this was very unsatisfactory to most people (including myself) and decided to go with an even simpler design. Now, the RoCoo P is half the thickness of the Studio-V, about a third of the weight, and feels a lot more robust in the hand. The same high quality aluminum chassis, and a new screen that seems to be more smooth than what the Studio-V ever was.
The RoCoo P has the same basic controls as the Studio-V, with a few minute changes. Both the USB port and the micro SD card slot are exactly the same, so nothing new there. As we move up however, there are different buttons. While they are metal, they’re not the same color and feel as the Studio-V. The RoCoo P’s buttons are more circular, flatter, have more of a silver tone, and are a lot smoother when navigating. Lastly, HiSound has removed the line in connection on the RoCoo P and uses only a regular headphone input and a reset button, and both are not drilled like the Studio-V. A slight downside, but still almost as good as the Studio-V when quality is concerned, and the RoCoo P triumphs the Studio-V when it comes to versatility and aesthetics.
Now that we have all the basics down, it’s time to finally talk about the sound that this little player is capable of outputting. Before we get to that though, let’s discuss what I didn’t like about the Studio-V and what I thought should have been improved on. In a nutshell, the Studio-V had great vocality, a slightly uptempo top end, and a fantastic transient response, but the $450 price point did not match the sonics performance, which was about half of what it was actually worth. The RoCoo P doesn’t even come close to that statement. It absolutely dominates the Studio-V when sonic performance is concerned, and it’s less than half the price!
The RoCoo P’s sonic signature is very neutral, but has tremendous extension on both ends of the sound spectrum. It reaches far down low, and has an even faster transient response than that of the Studio-V. Bass wise, it has a good amount of authority, decent punch, and a slight laid back feel. Not overpowering, but just what I like. Also, I’ve found that while the attack of the RoCoo P is very fast, notes tend to take slightly longer to decay, which adds a tiny bit of coloration to the midrange, but very little. Still very speedy down low, but not equal speeds in attack and decay times.
The midrange of the RoCoo P is absolutely to die for. Slightly sweet, but very clear and resolved. It’s neither lush not harsh, but sits right in between both of these terms. Vocality, just like on the Studio-V, is top notch, and presents itself in a very forward manner. Never edgy, but very liquid like, with awesome coherency to the rest of the instruments. I find the midrange to stick out a little more than rest of the spectrum, not as laid back as the bass, but more forward, and a little bit brighter than the treble. That’s not to say that the treble is underdeveloped, because it isn’t at all.
Actually, that’s one of my favorite attributes of the RoCoo P. Up top, the treble is very smooth. There’s almost no sibilance to be found, and while it does seem to take on a rather smooth feel up top, when a track calls for a cymbal crash or zing, the RoCoo P does a great job of replicating it, and can become quite sparkly. Not the annoying, harsh treble, but the sweet, sparkly, and well extended treble. Also, the soundstage on the RoCoo P is very good considering its price point. Depth extension (this is what I was talking about when I said awesome vocality) is absolutely fantastic, and is very noticeable on headphones like the HD650 and the HD800. Width is exceedingly well handed as well, and stretches out far and wide. Not unrealistically wide, like the Q701, but just enough. Imaging and layering are excellent as well. I feel as if though everything is appropriately placed on stage, and each instrument has enough space to play out nicely.
The RoCoo P, despite its small size, actually has some pretty good authority behind it when it comes to driving high impedance and current guzzling headphones. Headphones like the Sennhesier HD650 and the AKG Q701. The RoCoo P drives both of these very well, and while it doesn’t equal the sound and driving surge of $500+ desktop amps and DAC’s, it can drive even the most demanding headphones (except orthodynamics like the HE-6) very well, and has good sound quality to boast.
While I’ve had bad experiences in the past with HiSound, I’m feeling a new and brighter horizon coming up. HiSound has taken their great design philosophy, and combined it with absolutely fantastic sound, something you don’t see very often. As long as they keep up what they are doing, I can see a very bright future ahead, as well as a plethora of new products. The RoCoo P is earning a new place on my rack, and will fit perfectly into my lifestyle.