Received my Ruark R4i last week & have to report a mixed bag of results! I Carnt fault the build quality-its a very chunky & strong unit. However several issues. Firstly the sound when playing the ipod for a unit that costs almost £600 isnt that great. I Previously used Apples own ipod docking speaker, the sound from that was loads better. The Ruark R4i even with a fitted Sub lacks Bass & depth. Not only that there are only 4 or 5 EQ settings & none to adjust Bass & Treble. Also after plugging in the ipod after a few seconds the ipod screen fades to almost blank!!! So you carnt see whats playing which is a real pain if its a new album you havnt heard before. I Carnt see the point in having an ipod that displays the album info or cover of the track your playing only for the R4i to turn the screen off!!! This is also the same when I play my iphone 4s. The screen on the R4i is very-VERY basic to say the least! Track number displayed & its time-thats it! No track or Artist info.
The CD Player sounds alot better than the ipod although inserting the CD isnt exactly smooth-it sounds like the CD is rubbing on the unit as it goes in. Again on the display NO CD TEXT or any info other than track number & time.
Playing my Sony QS mini-disc player through the AUX selection is spot on! The punchy-bassy sound of the mini-disc really comes through the R4i brilliantly (Phew!!!)
The remote control is a real PAIN!!! Its great for the first minute of using & will impress the kids but you have to point it directly at the unit for it to work (not always possible with it in your hand). The controls are very-very fidally & hard to see unless its in daylight or bright light-no good if you want to get lovey-lovey with your partner in the dark! Money spent on that is a complete waste of time IMO.
The USB port at the front is a real eyesore & makes the unit look cheap & ugly. Shurly a little shutter could of been added to hide it???
After only an hours playing the unit gets VERY HOT at the back on the right hand side. And I mean so hot you carnt touch it! So much so I'm worried it might catch fire!!!!
Again going back to the R4i display. For a unit thats so expensive I find it hard to understand the lack of info it displays. Its not as if its a small unit. An in-car CD player shows track name, artist name & album info in its display, is 6 times smaller than the R4i & you can pick them up new for less than £50. I Carnt help thinking if this was made by a Japanesse company it would be half the price & have twice as much technology.
Oh and lastly, I sent an email to Ruark explaing my issues. I Got a very short & snotty reply back saying I should of testted the unit in a shop before I bought it!!! Yes, very helpfull that.
In short the music I listen too is Trance, Dance, Progressive House, Space Rock, Jazz, Funky House, Brazillian House, Jazz Rock, Jazz-Fusion, Drum & Bass, Pop, Jazz-Funk etc. If thats your bag you will be disappointed in the R4i. Maybe it was designed for older people with a more 'Classical' music collection???
At £595 its WAY over priced, I would only give it 3 stars-and thats only because of the mini-disc player sounding so good through it.
I have purchased an R4i today, I mainly listen to classical music, jazz and voice recordings. The concept is near perfect, solid and pleasant. It plays a nice, clean and balanced powerfull sound, but this is not hi-fidelity - far from it. I would rather describe it as an excellent and multifunctional radio and iPod dock. For the sound alone, the price is too high. We pay the concept, the pleasant sound and the overall build quality.
Compared to the Geneva, the sound is clearer, better balanced and not as round as the Geneva (although I would have prefered the Geneva for its design and swiss origin).
Compared to Tivoli sound, the latter sounds awfull for classical (too round). Compared to the Loewe SoundBox and SoundVision, the R4i sonds MUCH better. The Loewe systems will satisfy lower expectations regarding pure sound quality.
Sorry meant Pedestrians
I thought it was lacking in both treble and base, and anything special. I then tried it through my 600 whatever Cambride Audio amp and speakers, and it was better. Is it an option for a cd player and DAB/FM receiver combined at £530 +? It has a usb port and deals with ipod and other input, plus with my 4 speakers and its own built in 2 it has 6 speakers. But you have to buy Apple's Airport Express for wireless funcionality (even though this system I'm reviewing is made by Ruark). Think I'll send it back for either better analogue HIFI or more modern and better digital or a combination of both, at a higher (lower?) price. Sorry Ruark, optional extra separate speaker availabilty would help.
I thought it was lacking in both treble and base, and anything special. I then tried it through my 600 whatever Cambride Audio amp and speakers, and it was better. Is it an option for a cd player and DAB/FM receiver combined at £530 +? It has a usb port and deals with ipod and other input, plus with my 4 speakers and its own built in 2 it has 6 speakers. But you have to buy Apple's Airport Express for wireless funcionality (even though this system I'm reviewing is made by Ruark). Think I'll send it back for either better analogue HIFI or more modern and better digital or a combination of both, at a higher (lower?) price. Sorry Ruark, optional extra separate speaker avalabilty would help.
As you say - its always worth a try before you buy if you can. I can only asume that either the sub control on the rear was turned down or the EQ setting had been changed.
The location probably helps a bit too - mine sits ontop of a solid Oak book case.
Ive just ordered an Apple Airport Express for mine so I can stream wirelessly to it
I purchased the R4i largely unseen – I had looked at reviews online after a friend who owns an older R4 had heartily recommended it. I was looking for an iPhone dock and had considered the cheaper options like a Bose Soundock II etc however I liked the added options of a CD player and USB port as well as the DAB radio so the Ruark R4i was very appealing.
Having though about this for almost a year I wish I had gone for it sooner. Don’t let the price put you off – this is a far superior product to the basic £200 ipod docks available. Its very well build – very solid and heavy. The walnut finish looks great and is made of a very good quality wood or veneer – it looks real to me and its cheaper.
The sound is the most important thing and it sounds amazing. Very clear and rich. More than loud enough and plenty of bass which can be tweaked by the Sub control knob on the rear and by the audio options on the front (Loudness, 3D and a High/Normal/Low equalizer option).
Not many things in life are perfect and this is no exception. The instruction manual is very basic and getting the hang of the remote takes some doing although it is very much worth it – the remote is one of the best features in my view – who wants a boring candy bar remote when you can have the flying saucer! Its feels as weighty and well build as the main unit itself and seems to work fine for me – I’ve had no range or direction problems reported in other reviews.
The previous review leaves me puzzled.
I have auditioned the R4i at 2 different dealers albeit only 1 of them was a specialist HiFi outlet, but in both cases I found the sound very thin and really nowehere close to the B&W Air, Arcam rCube or Geneva Sound Model S.
As for the R2 that too seemed pretty poor.
It would seem however that both What HiFi and the previous reviewer have a completey different experience. I can only repeat the usual mantra "Try before you buy" because this could be a very expensive mistake to make
what a shame to have such a sublime device rubished by so-called 'reviewers' who frankly don't have a clue. Ruark please take note of such outrage. And why call yourself Vespasian? What the new emperor of Equestrians? Burry yourself dude.
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A great amp with some notable musical skills, but it loses a star compared with its better-performing, better-specified rivals
Another admirable and attractive soundbar from LG, pipped to that fifth star by fierce competition
The large screen and punchy picture are highly attractive for this price, but you’ll have to forego the smart features and Full HD resolution
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