The design of speaker amplifiers has been something of a roller coaster ride over the past few decades. After being proud to display their expensive equipment out in the open, consumers began asking that these bulky, ugly products get hidden away behind cabinets. The AudioControl Rialto 600 solves all of those problems without sacrificing performance.
The tiny black box that houses the inner workings of the Rialto 600 is designed in a way that is sleek and can be showcased proudly on a TV stand without taking up a lot of room. It won’t stick out like a sore thumb in any setting. It sits just under 3 inches tall, 8.5 inches wide and 5.4 inches deep.
And as impressive as the design of the product is, it’s performance more than matches it. AudioControl built the Rialto 600 as an amplifier and digital audio converter all in one chassis. The product delivers two channels of 100 Watts of power at 8 Ohms, and 200 Watts at 4 Ohms, and is stable down to 3.6 Ohms. In our testing, the Rialto 600 was capable of powering two floorstanding speakers in a fairly standard TV setup. We used speaker wire to connect the left and right channels, a digital audio cable to go from there to the TV.
Other setup options and features include COAX inputs, analog stereo inputs, IR inputs, Wolfson DAC, AudioControl’s patented AccuBASS system, 12v trigger input, an RS232 connection, and more. There were literally more switches, toggles, and I/O jacks then I knew what to do with. Oh, and you can plug a pair of headphones into the thing and enjoy an audiophile-grade listening experience. And at $849, the Rialto 600 sports a price that simply puts makes it one of the most affordable products in its class.
The complaints were limited with the Rialto 600, but there were two.
We’ll start with the remote. It’s almost a footnote with the product (which makes sense since the Rialto 600 can be integrated into a Control4-type setup), but it’s still in the box when you open it. Despite the user’s ability to ditch the remote, the thing is truly underwhelming. I wasn’t able to ditch it in my review, which meant I had to drive my experience with a rather flimsy piece of plastic. It’s not the best experience, especially considering that price tag.
And second is the cooling fan. AudioControl put the cooling fan on the bottom of the Rialto 600, which keeps it out of the way and hides it, but I found that the fan could get rather loud at times. It’s not so distracting and almost resembles a white noise machine, but you could definitely tell that the product was on.
Those minor things aside, though, the Rialto 600 is an impressive piece of tech for the entry-level home theater enthusiast.