Beautifully crafted, compact, well-connected – it's hard to find fault with Ruark Audio's all-in-one R2 music system.
But in a valiant effort to raise the bar even higher, the British audio outfit has announced a fourth generation R2. The Mk4 dials up the sophistication with a Japanese-inspired slatted wooden grille and an ultra-strong "bonded glass" display.
Twenty per cent slimmer than its predecessor, the Mk4 should fit nicely on your windowsill. It also boasts a USB-C port for both charging and playback, plus DAB+, FM and internet tuners with pre-sets.
Streamers get support for Spotify, Amazon Music and Deezer, while built-in Bluetooth gives you the option to pair the R2 Mk4 with just about any smartphone or tablet. There's even a proper headphone out, in addition to the aux in.
The usual 'RotoDial' controller makes an appearance on top of the unit, while the display has been updated to a colour LCD screen.
Ruark has stopped short of integrating voice controls but the company says you can control the R2 Mk4 via Frontier Silicon's UNDOK app, or splash out an extra £15 on the optional remote.
Ruark has a track record of producing mostly-excellent all-in-one music systems so we have high hopes that the R2 Mk4 will improve on the "excellent dynamics" of the five-star R2 Mk3, which we reviewed back in 2015. The presence of Ruark Audio's own NaturalSound+ drivers certainly bodes well...
Already clearing a space on your windowsill or table? The Ruark Audio R2 Mk4, priced at £479 (around $550 / AU$820), will be available from October in two finishes: Light Cream lacquer with ash grille and Espresso lacquer with walnut grille.
Read the Ruark Audio R2 Mk3 review
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