Ruark Audio has announced the R5 music system, and it’s so classy, you’ll want to make sure the house is spotless before it arrives. When it does, it will pair with other Ruark Audio products to become the centerpiece of a multi-room audio system, proving that even though the exterior has a classic air, the inside is as modern as it gets.
The body is made from wood — which comes in either walnut veneer or soft grey lacquer — along with metal and glass, while the front is covered with a subtle gray fabric. It hides a pair of 2.95-inch (75mm) stereo speakers, which use neodymium magnets and a lightweight coil and cone for a natural sound, plus a 5-inch (125mm) long-throw subwoofer for enhanced bass. This 2.1 system is powered by newly developed Class A-B amplifiers with an 80-watt output.
Those clean looks are only part of the Ruark R5’s appeal. For us, it’s the breadth of audio sources and options it provides to music lovers. Hidden in the glass front panel along with an OLED screen is a front-loading CD player for a start, while the radio system supports Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB), FM, and internet radio stations. Connect using Bluetooth and, provided it’s a compatible device, it will be an AptX HD signal, plus there’s a USB port as an alternative, too.
It doesn’t stop there. The Ruark R5 has both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi for complete wireless music playback, and it will stream Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and Deezer. Ruark’s own mobile app makes set-up easy here. Finally, digital and analog inputs let you connect a turntable to the R5. Those invested in the Ruark range can link Ruark R7 Mk3, R2 Mk3, and MRx speakers up to the R5 for synced multi-room audio.
Ruark’s older R4 music system was an audio delight, and the visual makeover for the R5 is very welcome. We’re also hoping the software and user operating system has had similar attention lavished on it, as it was rather long-winded in the R4. It appears Ruark includes its cute hockey-puck-style radio remote to make life easier, and it’s definitely more attractive than the remote which came with the R4.
The company says the massive, and massively expensive, Ruark R7 was the inspiration for the R5, and the family resemblance is obvious. We love Ruark’s design language, and appreciate how good a multi-room system will look as well as sound. The R5 is a lot cheaper than the almost $3,000 (2,300-British-pound) R7, at 1,000 British pounds, or about $1,310; but that’s still plenty to pay for a music system. If you’re interested, the Ruark R5 will be available in the spring in the U.K., Japan, Australia, and many other markets. Sadly, Ruark still doesn’t have distribution in the U.S.
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