British audio expert Ruark has breathed new life into one of its longest-running models. The R2 Mk4 all-in-one music system as been streamlined for its fourth generation, while retaining the firm’s familiar RotoDial controller and interior decorator-pleasing wooden finish.
Since first landing in 2007, the R2 has gone through multiple iterations. This latest version is now a whole lot slimmer than the outgoing model, meaning it’ll be easier to squeeze on a bookshelf or windowsill. The slatted grille (wooden, naturally) compliments the sharp-lined yet curvy exterior, in your choice of Light Cream and Ash, or Espresso with Walnut.
Turned off it looks suitably retro, but wake the R2 up and the glass reveals a full color display underneath. It’ll show DAB station logos as well as album artwork, with auto-brightness to avoid burning your retinas when late-night listening.
There’s a full suite of streaming services on-board, including Deezer, Amazon Music and Spotify Connect. DAB+, FM and internet radio tuners also make an appearance, along with Bluetooth 5.0 for smartphone playback. It’s packing an aux in and USB-C port for direct playback, or charging your phone when you’ve spent too long looping your favorite playlists. A headphone port is handy for private listening too.
Underneath, the whole thing is powered by a class AB linear amplifier, linked to Ruark’s proprietary NS+ speaker drivers. An adaptive equalizer knows when you’re playing podcasts and spoken-word content, tweaking the sound balance on the fly for better sonics.
The Ruark Audio R2 Mk4 is on sale right now, directly from Ruark, for £479.