It may look retro, but the Ruark R7 MkIII has Spotify inside, and a lot more

The word radiogram, for those not familiar with it, is a Britishism for a record player and radio cobbled together in a single, usually large, piece of furniture. While it hasn’t been in common usage for decades, audio company Ruark has brought it back for the release of the R7 MkIII, which is a radiogram for the Spotify generation. What does it do? Pretty much everything, up to and including doubling up as a soundbar under your flatscreen TV.

Before we talk about the functionality, let’s examine the design. A radiogram circa 1950 took up more space than most couches, and often had a pair of speakers so large that even Metallica might think twice about putting them on stage. The Ruark R7 MkIII is more nuanced, more design-led, and considerably more modern than its ancestors; yet still captures the retro spirit. It now resembles a table, supported by four legs that bring the whole thing up to about waist height.

It’s made to sit innocuously in your home, pumping out music without overwhelming the room in the way a pair of floor standing speakers would. Available in both rich walnut and soft grey, it’s surprisingly versatile in its design, and should fit in well regardless of your home’s decor. The surface is also strong and durable enough to be used as a table. If you don’t want the long legs, a pair of puck-style feet can be used, allowing the R7 to sit on another piece of furniture. A system to mount your TV to the R7 can be purchased separately, where the unit effectively becomes a soundbar.

However, the R7 MkIII is made to be heard, not to stand your cup of Earl Grey on. A 160-watt amplifier drives two 140mm speakers mounted behind the fabric front cover, and there’s a 200mm active subwoofer providing the bass. A single-slot CD player breaks up the fabric front panel along with the OLED screen, while on the top of the R7 is Ruark’s RotoDial control. We’ve used this before, on the excellent R4-30, and with the R7 there is also a wireless version that acts as a remote control.

In addition to the CD, the R7 has Spotify Connect built-in, along with DLNA connectivity for wireless streaming, and Bluetooth control which also supports the latest AptX HD codec for CD-quality streaming. The R7 also links up with other Ruark speakers for multi-room audio playback. It wouldn’t be a radiogram without a radio, so the R7 has four options: FM radio, DAB, DAB+, and internet radio support. There’s a wealth of connections at the back, too, including an Ethernet port, RCA, optical, and USB connections, plus one to add a turntable of your choice.

There isn’t much missing from the R7 MkIII, but such versatility comes at a hefty price. It costs 2,300 British pounds, or about $2,950. Ruark expects to start shipping the R7 MkIII in October, but currently doesn’t have distribution in the United States.

Computing

Microsoft reveals details of Surface Hub 2S, coming in June at $9,000

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Gaming

Wired headphones are so 2018. Here's how to pair a Bluetooth device to your PS4

One of the best aspects of modern consoles is how easily you can pair them with other devices. Here's our quick primer on how to connect a Bluetooth headset (or really any Bluetooth device) to your PlayStation 4.
Gaming

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.
Deals

The best iRobot Roomba deals to make cleaning your home a breeze

Keep your home clean without lifting a finger using a robot vacuum cleaner. These nine iRobot Roomba deals not only help you keep your home tidy, but many also come with advanced features such as automatic scheduling and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Product Review

Now that every speaker has Alexa, don't you want the best? Get the Sonos One

To compete in the smart speaker space, Sonos could have just made a better-sounding Alexa speaker. But the company has a reputation to uphold, and went much further. Our Sonos One Review reveals how Sonos does Alexa better than Amazon.
Home Theater

Amazon’s free Spotify competitor is here. Just ask Alexa

Just ask Alexa to play your favorite song. Amazon has launched a free, ad-based music streaming service to compete with Spotify's free tier on its popular Echo devices, aiming to bolster subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited.
Deals

Walmart deal drops the price of the 55-inch TCL 4K Roku smart TV to just $338

Was last weekend's Game of Thrones streaming experience lacking? Look no further than this 55-inch TCL TV, which features built-in Roku functionality, and can be had at Walmart for just $338.
Music

YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. What's changed, and should you subscribe?

Thanks to Google, YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. We explain what exactly a YouTube Premium subscription gets you, how much it costs, and break down if it's a good choice for you.
Product Review

It sounds like a Sonos, but the Beam pulls one trick none of its siblings can

Sonos makes really good surround sound speakers for home theaters, but they’re expensive. A cheaper model with great sound would be a win. The Sonos Beam is that speaker, but were too many corners cut to make a more affordable product?
Deals

Take a gander at the best deals on 4K TVs for April 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.