Ruark Audio are back and this time with the brand new R1 MkIII. This company have never disappointed when it’s come to balancing product simplicity, audio quality and overall design. Let’s hope this little speaker/radio can keep this trend running.
The R1 isn’t a huge device by any means and measures in at 170 x 130 x 135mm and weighs 1.8kg. Although it hasn’t been designed as a portable system you can quite easily unplug it and move it around without any effort.
Ruark Audio are known for their simplistic designs and the R1 is no different. Whether it’s sitting on your desk or on your bookshelf the subtle design is very much appreciated by anyone who spots it.
Design-wise it’s nearly identical to the MR1 system we’ve previously reviewed, with a few slight changes. On the top you’ll find the control knob which can also be pressed to confirm selections. This is used to control pretty much all of the settings and features within the R1 unit.
Spaced around the control knob you’ll find a variety of different buttons which can change settings from source input to setting an alarm and adding preset radio stations.
On the back of the unit, you’ll find a USB charge port, power port, 3.5mm AUX input and a headphone out port. In the box you’ll find the radio antenna, this is screws into the back. As well as the auxiliary input the R1 is capable of Bluetooth audio streaming and is equipped with FM and DAB+ tuners.
The sound quality, as expected was astonishing, especially from what is actually quite small unit. In terms of volume, it’s fine for a single bedroom or living room, however, when you do begin to crank it up towards maximum the audio does become a little distorted. The bass produced is deep, while vocals remain detailed and crisp.
On the front, you’ll also find a high contrast OLED display which will show a variety of details depending on the input source. Whether you’re using in bright or dark conditions the display is easy to read and I had no problems making out the date, time or radio station I was listening too.
I think you’ll agree that the Ruark Audio R1 MkIII is simple looking device, which carries through when using it. Controlling the radio is made simple with the control knob and I didn’t even need the manual when setting it up. The R1 performs well in every category and will remain on my bedside table for the foreseeable future.
The radio/speaker is available in black, white and Walnut veneer and will set you back £199. You can read more about it on Amazon below.