Rotel S14

Integrated Network Streamer w/ Bluetooth aptX HD, Spotify Connect, Roon Ready & Chromecast

Item #ROTEL:S14

Rotel S14

Integrated Network Streamer w/ Bluetooth aptX HD, Spotify Connect, Roon Ready & Chromecast

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The S14 Integrated Network Streamer is an all-in-one solution providing the ultimate in convenience to the near limitless catalog of music delivering 150 Watts of Class AB power. Album artwork on the front display, included remote, simple operation and intuitive setup ensures the S14 becomes the heart of your music system.

High Notes

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Elegant Simplicity

Rotel designed the S14 “just add speakers” solution to give you the connection to your music without all the cables and complexity of separate components. Just connect to your network and enjoy!

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Options For Any Music Lover

The S14 allows you to connect via APTX HD Bluetooth, through your network using your choice of streaming apps or Rotels own app, USB for connection to your pc or mac, flash drives, or network-attached storage, and even an analog input for analog sources. They thought of everyone with the S14!

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Premium DAC and Class A/B Amplifier

Utilizing a 32 Bit Sabre ESS DAC chip allows the S14 to decode MQA from Tidal and high-res 24-bit from any other source giving your music more depth and realism. Utilizing a class A/B amplifier allows Rotel to keep fidelity high while keeping the design as efficient as possible.

Company Overview

Rotel is a company we know well. Started by Mr. Tomoki “Tac” Tachikawa, the company started modifying televisions from the US to work in the Japanese market. After a company reorganization in 1961 Rotel went into the audio OEM business. After years of perfecting in-house designs, the company decided to go into business under its own name to make high-end but affordable audio. Rotel knew that there were a lot of products out there in the ’70s that were marketed on features instead of sound quality. Instead of following that trend, they focused on 3 basic principles of musical accuracy, build quality, and affordability. Rotel knew there was a market for audio products that performed admirably and did not cost a fortune. Designing and building many of their own parts in-house allowed them to do just that.

When Rotel decided they wanted to build a unit that would deliver all the performance of their integrated amplifiers with the added benefit of streaming music they took it seriously. They wanted the technology to mature into a very reliable source of music before they implemented it into their designs. This would ensure that the streaming section of their new device would be just as reliable and sonically pleasing as the rest of Rotel’s lineup. Audio Advice has been a Rotel dealer for over 30 years due to them making products of good sound quality, reliability, and overall value.

Rotel S14

Packaging, Design, & Build Quality

We opened the S14 box and were greeted with a packet that contained some information about streaming services as well as a USB flash drive that contained the manual and a driver for windows computers. We love that they include this and do not make you go to the website to find information (little things make a difference). We took the S14 out of the box and were surprised by how hefty the S14 is for its form factor. The unit we received was in the black finish and looked well built. We have been around many Rotel products and have always been impressed by their build quality, especially for the price. The unit also comes with a power cable and an ethernet cable to get you connected to the network. The final item out of the box was the remote which we need to make a special shout-out to Rotel for. This remote is absolutely fitting for a component of this level with its aluminum housing and clearly labeled buttons, it’s by no means the normal generic plastic fantastic remotes we see with a lot of gear today. Good job Rotel.

Rotel S14 Front View

The Rotel S14 is an exercise in simplicity. The front panel is well laid out and simple. On the left is the power button, Next to the power button is a 1/8’ headphone output. There are separate buttons on the front panel for each input so selecting your desired input is easy. The 2”x3” non-touch LCD allows you to go through the menu options and also shows the current music streaming. There is a menu and plus and minus buttons to navigate the settings and a simple volume knob. We think Rotel made the right decisions here in making the front panel simple yet effective. We see way too many of these all-in-one streaming amplifiers that have either an overly cluttered front panel or a bare front panel that makes you go on a mission through the remote menus to change settings. The fact that Rotel was able to keep the front panel clean but effective and simple to use will entice owners to keep using it and enjoying their music.

Features & Technology

In the many ways that people enjoy music in today’s world, building a true all-in-one “just add speakers” product is a daunting task and getting it right is even more difficult. The music-loving community is made up of people from all walks of life. From people that are frequent with technology and know how to work almost any device to people that absolutely want nothing to do with complex technology. We happen to be technically proficient but even we were surprised by how fast we were able to get things going with the S14. We simply plugged in my power cables, hooked up the ethernet cable to our router, and after about a 5-minute firmware update, we were able to connect to the Google Home app on our Android or Apple device and we were up and running. Now if you are only able to use the S14 on a wireless network, you will have to go through the menu and connect to your network and enter the credentials. Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, or any other major streaming service is easy as we just simply chose the S14 as our output and the music streamed flawlessly. Rotel does make its own app to control the S14 that can add additional features allowing you to get your music from your network-attached storage or streaming direct to the S14 through the app but we were not able to test that feature because the app was going through updates at the time of the review. We were also able to connect the S14 to our pc via USB to use its internal DAC to play music from the computer. After simply installing the Windows update from the included Rotel flash drive we were able to play music from our NAS drive or computer directly. The S14 is also Roon ready so Roon users are covered here.

Streaming Icons

The technology behind the S14 is a combination of leading-edge streaming technology and tried and true amplifier technology. Rotel designed and built all of the S14 themselves only getting their streaming system from an outside source. But they were meticulous in finding streaming components worthy of the S14 so that it would have the reliability Rotel is known for. The DAC inside the S14 is an ESS Sabre 32-bit chip. Rotel does not say what model ESS chip they use but we can assure you that all of the ESS chips made in the last 5 years have much better distortion and noise numbers than most of the components used to record music in the studio or a live event.

Rotel S14 Back View

This DAC is able to handle 24-bit/192KHz from a USB type A flash drive, coaxial, and Toslink connections. The type-B USB computer input can handle 32-bit/384KHz, MQA and MQA Studio files are also supported. It does not say DSD audio is supported in the specs and that is what we found when we tried to play it from our PC. There is an aptX HD Bluetooth receiver included that supports 24-bit/48KHz audio at 576K bits a second as well. Streaming from any of your streaming services via the Rotel app or the services app directly will support high-res audio. We know that digital audio can get confusing with all the different bit rates and sampling frequencies but if you have any compatibility questions about the S14, our knowledgeable team here at Audio Advice can answer your questions.

Rotel S14 Internal View

Rotel chose to utilize a class A/B amplifier in this design and we feel like it was a good choice. The S14’s amplifier section is almost the same as their A14MKII Integrated Amp, which is a tried and true design. They use a Rotel-built Toroidal transformer, and stiffening capacitors. Rated at 80 W/Ch at 8 ohms and 150 W/Ch at 4 ohms this unit will power most of the speakers likely to be paired with it with ample headroom. Knowing that Rotel builds a lot of the internal parts themselves is reassuring. A lot of the streamer/amplifier manufacturers out there are just putting off-the-shelf class-D modules in their products without any thought to the design and it generally shows in its performance. There are good class-D amplifiers out there but they must be designed meticulously in order for them to compete with traditional class A, A/B designs.


This is the part of the review where the rubber meets the road. For this review, we used the S14 connected via ethernet cable to our router and streamed using our android device since we feel that this is most likely the way it will be used. We also used the Wi-Fi option and did not notice much, if any, degradation in sound quality. We did connect to the Bluetooth receiver of the S14 and it did sound good but understandably not as good as the hardwired connection. This is expected with Bluetooth’s limitations but would be fine for casual listening. We had the S14 connected to a pair of McIntosh XR50 stand-mount loudspeakers. These speakers spec at a sensitivity of 81dB which can be a difficult load to drive and the fact that this is an 8-ohm speaker means it is getting the lower 80 W/Ch power from this amplifier. We would not dare try to put this speaker with an A/V receiver or cheaper integrated as it would not have the headroom to power them. With the S14 having a larger transformer and stiffening capacitors not found in lesser units means it has quite a bit of headroom to spare.

Listening to the 2014 album Live at HQ, Los Angeles by Legacy Recordings allows us to see how the S14 handles a live recording that has good dynamics and drive. Playing one of our favorite songs off this album “Love hurts” we were able to drive the XR50s to around 83dB and the Rotel S14 kept its composure. This is impressive knowing the low sensitivity of these speakers and only when we pushed the amplifier above this level did we start to hear strain in the highs and the soundstage collapse. At normal listening levels, the soundstage was plenty wide and imaging was pinpoint. This recording is a 24-bit/44.1KHz live recording

An Album we use quite frequently for our reviews is the 2000 album Sara K. What Matters. This is a Chesky Records release and a good one at that. Chesky is a label that does their recordings in controlled rooms with some of the best equipment and is recorded in live takes. This whole album is a great album to test soundstage, instrument placement, pace, rhythm, and image depth. The musicianship in this album is top notch and the S14 allowed us to hear it. The soundstage was wide, imaging was locked in, and there was a drive to the music. The S14 may not be the last word in pace and rhythm, with an image depth not quite what you will get with good separate components or a higher-end integrated amplifier but for an all-in-one device, it does well. We have heard many DAC designs over the years and Rotel did a good job implementing the internal DAC in the S14. We have heard many integrated DACS in amplifiers that fall very short sonically. While the S14 is not going to compete with a true high-end standalone DAC in micro detail, transparency, image depth, or soundstage width it serves the music well in the S14.

Rotel S14

Overall Recommendation

After spending time with the Rotel S14 and putting it through its paces we have been thoroughly impressed. With its Many connection options be it USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, wired network, integrated streaming, and analog input for an analog component like a phono preamp the S14 has you covered. It has a well-built class A/B power section that has good sonics and ample headroom. Being an all-in-one package the S14 is not going to give you the performance of hand-chosen separate components but what it does give you is a taste of the high-end audio in a package that is both affordable, reliable, and easy to set up and operate all while being in a small form factor. If you are a music lover that is looking to start your audiophile journey, need something simple for a second system, or simply don’t want the fuss of separate components with all the wires and headache, we wholeheartedly recommend the Rotel S14!

Details & Specs

The Rotel S14 Integrated Network Streamer provides seamless access to the near limitless catalog of online music with ease and sophistication. This all-in-one product streams music directly from popular music sources rendering the audio with detailed precision and clarity delivering 150 Watts of Class AB power into 4 ohms to even the most demanding loudspeakers.

Leveraging over 60 years of audio design experience the S14 renders digital music files including MQA utilizing a 32-bit ESS Sabre Digital to Analog converter. The integrated amplifier circuits feed an array of high-current output transistors powered by an oversized toroidal transformer delivering accuracy with exceptional bass control.

Convenient and intuitive the S14 supports both wired and dual-band Wi-Fi network connections for ultimate installation flexibility. Album artwork, track, title, and artist information are presented on the front panel color graphic display. Simple device setup and configuration are also available using the front panel and included remote control.

Stream using your favorite music App or use the S14 iOS and Android Apps to access thousands of Internet Radio stations, Podcasts, and high-resolution music from Tidal and Qobuz.

The S14 also includes Coaxial, Optical, Analog RCA, PC-USB, and aptXTM HD Bluetooth providing connection to your favorite audio sources such as CD Players, Tuners, and Turntables with line-level outputs. A rear USB connection supports playback of MP3, WMA, and AAC audio files from flash drives.

This just-add-speakers solution continues to deliver on the promise of quality, performance, and value synonymous with this Japanese family-owned audio brand.


  • 2 x 150 Watts of robust Class AB power, 4 Ohms
  • Wireless aptX™ HD and AAC Bluetooth
  • ESS premium 32-bit Digital to Analog Converter
  • Supports MQA and MQA Studio
  • Certified Roon Ready
  • Includes Remote Control
Model S14
Maximum Power Output 150 watts/ch (4 ohms)
Continuous Power Output 80 watts/ch (8 ohms)
Total Harmonic Distortion less than 0.04%
Intermodulation Distortion less than 0.03% (60 Hz : 7kHz, 4:1)
Frequency Response (Line Level Inputs) 10 Hz - 100k Hz, 0 ± 0.5 dB
Damping Factor 400 (20 Hz - 20 kHz, 8 ohms)
Input Sensitivity / Impedance (Line Level Inputs) 200 mV / 47k ohms
Input Overload (Line Level Inputs) 4.5 V
Tone Controls - Bass / Treble ± 10 dB at 100 Hz / 10k Hz
Signal to Noise Ratio (Line Level Inputs) 100 dB
Digital to Analog Converters ESS
Frequency Response (Digital Inputs) 10 Hz - 90k Hz (0 ± 2 dB, Max)
Signal to Noise Ratio (Digital Inputs) 98 dB
Input Sensitivity/Impedance (Digital Inputs) -20 dBfs / 75 ohms
Digital Inputs SPDIF LPCM (up to 24-bit / 192k Hz)
PC-USB USB Audio Class 2.0 (up to 24-bit / 384k Hz) *Driver installation required
Support MQA and MQA Studio (up to 24-bit / 384k Hz)
Power Requirements 120 V, 60 Hz
Power Consumption 280 watts6
Standby Power Consumption less than 0.5 watts
BTU (4 ohms, 1/8th power) 733 BTU/h
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17 x 3.625 x 13.5 in
430 x 93 x 345 mm
Front Panel Height 3.125 in
80 mm
Weight 20.17 lbs
9.15 kg
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