Product review: Ruark R4 MK3 Mini System

Ever since the release of the critically acclaimed first generation R4i back in 2012, Ruark have been synonymous with high quality all-in-one music systems. Along with their renowned heritage in DAB radios, it always gets us a bit excited every time we get it hands on a new Ruark product…

The R4i and its various reincarnations over recent years have been met with the same excitement and fanfare the original did. Here’s hoping that their latest reincarnation, the R4 MK3, will live up to its predecessors. Upon first glance, it is immediately apparent that not much has changed on the outside. Sure it’s a little bit more modern-looking but the basics remain the same.

Menu control is handled by a minimal button on top of the unit.

It’s finished off in a lovely walnut casing with a clean white front. As we take a further look at the front, you will see a slot loading CD player, a 3.5mm input and a headphone socket. Oh and as this is an all in one unit, there are two circular speakers staring back at you. The R4 oozes quality and the build is quite frankly superb.

Build quality isn’t the only impressive thing with the R4 though. Not only is there the aforementioned CD player, there is also the facility for USB files to be plugged into the back as well as Bluetooth aptX connectivity.

But wait, there’s more. Want to make use of the R4’s 80 watt speakers from your TV? Then that’s not a problem. There’s a digital optical input on the back which is a massive bonus on a product like this. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that there is both FM and DAB radio services here too.

So far the R4 is really living up to the hype and it seems there is nothing that this won’t do. I guess the only thing left to do is see how it sounds! I’m going to make use of the Bluetooth aptX technology and stream some R.E.M, as I think that Bluetooth is becoming more and more the norm to listen to your favourite tunes.

Well, the R4 speakers firmly showing their quality straight away. It certainly punches way above is relatively small size. As I would expect, the vocals are clear and really stand out for me here. That’s not to say that the bass is lacking, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. The 80 watts of power shows through and the bass response is a welcome surprise, as I wasn’t expecting too much here. Obviously from such a small unit, it won’t blow the doors off but it’s definitely solid. As the R4 ticks along, it proves itself as a great all around one box solution. It looks great, sounds great and is easy to use.

The R4 is also available in a sleek black finish.

If this has piqued your interest and you want to have a listen at it for yourself, simply pop into your local Richer Sounds for a demonstration of this fantastic all-in-one music system.

Click to find out more about the Ruark R4 MK3.

Author: Bradley, Plymouth store