Sometimes you just have to dream a little bigger. Revo already won an award in 2015 for its SuperConnect (Best Radio £200+). Now the company is back with its heavyset sibling, the SuperSystem, not just a radio but an all-in-one system.
It seems like the complete package. A retro-styled exterior belies the exhaustive list of modern features packed within, and its sonic performance doesn’t disappoint either.
There’s just one problem: this is the current stomping ground of the Ruark R2 Mk3, which has its own Award and is assuredly difficult to beat.
The SuperSystem is big and it sounds the part too. It may fit on your kitchen counter but it wouldn’t hesitate to shake the crumbs out of your toaster.
We think it would be most at ease in your living room or bedroom – somewhere with more space and preferably away from corners.
And make sure you go through the settings and turn ‘loudness mode’ off – it exaggerates the bass and treble to silly proportions.
This Revo doesn’t need any help in pumping out a large, commanding sound, it does that all by itself. Whether you choose talk radio or smooth jazz, the sound is widespread and forceful enough to take the room with ease.
In this regard it has one over the Ruark R2 Mk3, which does not have the same scale or authority.
It’s a detailed listen too. There is enough definition to illustrate the key textures of instruments and vocals, and enough clarity to perceive it. We could do with more subtlety, however - the Ruark offers a bit more in the way of nuance.
The SuperSystem’s smooth, easygoing demeanour means it never loses composure even when cranked up to neighbour-bothering levels. You sense that there’s a reserve of power deep within the device, and it isn’t straining to be heard.
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Having a 15cm bass driver certainly helps to reinforce that impression. It provides a rich undercurrent to the proceedings and makes for a warm presentation, but is defined and controlled enough to avoid sounding flabby.
Good if you like your tight beats. We can only reiterate how important it is that you turn off ‘loudness mode’ – or else this bass begins to suffocate everything else.
Do this and you get a tonally balanced sound with no undue emphasis on any part of the frequency range. The midrange and treble have no problems making themselves heard over all that bass. Snare drums are crisp without sounding hard, and voices are direct.
Timing is tight, too. The various elements perform as a cohesive whole, with a sense of rhythm that has no problem getting your feet tapping. It goes hand in hand with the Revo’s dynamic presentation.
Good looks run in the family, and the SuperSystem shares many of the facets that made the SuperConnect so alluring. The build quality is unquestionable. Running your hands over the device is a treat.
It has a good weight too, so you know your cat won’t knock it over.
We dig the retro walnut enclosure and industrial aluminium grille. It’s worth mentioning it also comes in black or white for those with more contemporary tastes. The non-removable grille comes in black, too.
Apparently the black-on-black combination is known as the ‘Shadow Edition’.
There are twin 3.5in drivers behind the grille, to go with the 40W subwoofer firing downwards beneath the SuperSystem. The display is a 2.7in OLED unit, and it does a good job of displaying key information such as inputs and track information. It’s bright and clear, and easy to read from across the room.
There’s no shortage of buttons too, handy for radio presets and controlling playback. There is a large knob on top of the device, but it isn’t anywhere near as complex as the Ruark’s equivalent – this one is just for adjusting volume.
None of these are used to navigate the menu system, however. That’s down to a tiny joystick next to the screen. It’s a bit fiddly to use, but it does the job.
With dimensions of 16.5 x 43 x 22cm, the SuperSystem is certainly big. Revo expects you to place it on your bedside table, but that won’t leave you much space, and you probably don’t want this thing going off in your face.
It wouldn’t be an all-in-one system without a long list of connections, and the physical ones include a 3.5mm input, optical in and out, RCA out, headphone out and ethernet – plus a USB port for charging devices and playing music from memory sticks.
Compatible audio codecs include AAC, AAC+, MP3, WAV, WMA and FLAC. Wireless connections include aptX Bluetooth and wi-fi.
For radio there’s FM, DAB/DAB+ and internet, and for online streaming there is Spotify. If that’s not enough, the device is also DLNA certified, which means you can play music from networked storage devices.
There is a chunky plastic remote but the best way to wield and juggle all of these sources is via the app. There is no official app, but Revo uses the free Undok app to great effect.
It is very easy to go from Spotify in one moment to internet radio in the next. This app also brings in multi-room functionality, in case you have more than one compatible Revo device.
Super by name, super by nature. We like the Revo SuperSystem. It’s not often you find an all-in-one system of this quality. Its audio performance is rounded enough to play nicely with various types of music, and plucky enough to entertain.
Then we consider its excellent build quality and huge list of features, which make it a strong contender indeed. If you have the space and are after a one-box system to do it all, this will do nicely.
We tested the Revo SuperSystem in the May issue of What Hi-Fi? magazine but were later told it was a preproduction unit with a different specification. We have since received the correct unit, and this review has been amended to reflect the new model.
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