Product review: Ruark R5 wireless music system

Ruark’s R5 delivers full-sized performance from a classy all-in-one package.

Brian O’Rourke and Alan O’Rourke…You’ll be forgiven for not knowing who these two gentlemen are, however they are responsible for the formation of the brand Ruark. The father and son duo formed Ruark in 1985 with Brian having his background in building TV and radio cabinets in the 50’s and 60’s. Brian followed the trends of the 60’s love affair with stereos and made a small company building loudspeakers called Diesis. Alan on the other hand was surrounded from an early age by all sorts of creations by his father, so it was only natural with his background as an engineer for Ford motor company that the two should form a hugely successful brand that we know and love.

Fast-forward to today and we are presented with the Ruark R5, an all-in-one hi-fi unit. The R5 encapsulates all that is Ruark and distills it into a single, very attractive unit. Finished in either a walnut veneer or high gloss grey, the unit looks stunning. It’s built well too, feeling incredibly solid and well made when you remove it from it’s packaging (very heavy too!). Packaged with the R5 is a neat little remote that perfectly mirrors the controls on the top of the unit. It works over radio frequency too so no need to aim it at the unit, or even have it in the same room! As a further way to control the unit there is also a neat little app that lets you take complete control over your sources.

On the subject of sources the Ruark R5 really has you covered. With a digital optical, analogue RCA input, integrated CD player, bluetooth and full streaming features there’s almost nothing the R5 can’t do (it doesn’t make you a cuppa, I’m afraid!). Streaming is where the R5 really comes into its own; Spofity, Tidal, Amazon Music and Deezer are all supported right out of the box meaning you really have an all encompassing unit in a gorgeous looking package! Ruark have gone to huge lengths to ensure a full-bodied sound with the R5. Features include a class A-B amp that has a very linear output, and clever active equalisation to precisely control main loudspeaker units.

All sounds very promising doesn’t it… I am very pleased to report the R5 really does impress.

Calling on Tidal for my source and first up is Etherwood’s “See The Sky”. The track is given plenty of space to breath and really produces an amazing soundstage for an all in one unit. Bass is deep, taut and well rounded while the top end is precise and sharp, with the complex rhythm of the track rendered with real accuracy and timing. The airy vocals of the track too are impressive if lacking a little warmth and integration.

Next track is “Without Me” by Halsey. This is a great track and a real test of the R5. It really captures the emotions of Halsey’s voice and places them well in the mix of the track. What’s most impressive is the sheer depth of the bass the Ruark can produce. Sounding so much larger than the unit itself you’d be forgiven for thinking there were some floorstanders wired up! This theme continues throughout the whole track and you are left astounded that such a compact unit can deliver sound of this scale and quality.

In summary there really is very little to dislike about the Ruark R5, topnotch build quality & sound in a unit that’s relatively easy to place on a sideboard or table in nearly any room. Simple to set up and with ample connectivity this really is a superb piece of equipment.

Get in touch with your local Richer Sounds store and sample for yourself the sheer ability of the Ruark R5 today!

Find out more about the Ruark R5 wireless music system.

Author: Aaron, Cambridge store