Ruark Audio has been known for creating well designed radios and speakers. I’ve been using their Ruark Audio R1 Mk4 for a few days now and here’s what I think of it.
The R1 Mk4 is a very well crafted radio. The Espresso colour scheme has a dark brown enclosure accompanied by darkened wood for the wooden grilles on the front. Overall, it’s a very classy look that would blend well with most homes and offices.
The back of the unit is fully metal and that’s where you’ll also find the I/O ports. Ports available are USB-C, power adapter, line-in jack and headphone jack. The USB-C port can be used for playback through a USB-C flash drive and as a charging port for USB-C devices.
There’s also a telescopic antenna on the back for FM/DAB radio and can be removed if required.
Unfortunately playback through USB-C is shuffled and there is no way to change that. However, the R1 Mk4 does support playback via Bluetooth and that seems to be the best way to use the speaker, since you can control your playback through your phone. You can also connect your phone and computer to play audio through your favourite apps.
The controls are located on the top of the speaker. It’s the only way to control playback on the speaker for the other non-bluetooth modes. Otherwise, there’s an optional remote control that is sold separately.
The R1 Mk4 is powered through a regular power adapter but there is also an optional battery pack that is sold separately. It attaches to the back of the unit, making the R1 Mk4 portable. The battery pack is rechargeable using the same power adapter.
The sound produced from the R1 Mk4 is very natural with warm tones. The bass is quite impressive, but can get overwhelming at times, depending on the song. Sound settings such as bass, treble and loudness can be adjusted within the settings menu to balance out the sound according to your preferences.
Priced at S$479, I think the the R1 Mk4 is a splendid radio/speaker providing incredible sound within a design that is stunning.
Watch the video for a full review.