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Ruark R1 DAB radio updated to third generation MkIII

Tom Morgan
22 Sep 2014
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improved display, new RotoDial controls and Bluetooth make the Mk3 a worthy upgrade

The R1 compact DAB digital radio is something of a design classic for Ruark - so much so that it borrowed the size and shape for its standalone MR1 Bluetooth stereo speakers, but as with all technology there's always room for improvement - as long as it doesn't get in the way of the iconic looks. Ruark has done just that with the R1 Mk3, the third generation radio that upgrades the internals but keeps the sleek appearance of the original.

With the addition of DAB+, the R1 Mk3 is future-proofed for any transmission upgrades and gains the recently introduced ‘digital radio tick’ accreditation - one of only a few digital radios to do so. It also now supports Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a paired smartphone or tablet. A USB port on the back can be used to charge up your smartphone while you're streaming, so you don't have to worry about running out of battery. The single 3.5in full-range driver produces 9W of sound power, which should be more than sufficient for waking you up in the mornings or keeping you entertained in the kitchen.

On the top, a redesigned RotoDial control system should make it easier to change station, adjust volume or switch the active input, while the new OLED display at the front of the unit should be clear and easier to read even in direct light. Otherwise, the Mk3 retains the same dimensions as the original R1, so it should still fit comfortably on a sideboard, bedside table or kitchen counter. It also supports Ruark's optional CarryPack and BackPack battery upgrades, which let you unplug from the mains and take the speaker out and about.

Ruark is also using the Mk3 to debut two new colour choices on top of the original Rich Walnut finish. Soft White and Soft Black lacquered wood veneers should let you match the speaker to your décor, so it either stands out as a style piece or fades into the background, letting you concentrate on the audio.

The R1 Mk3 will be available directly from Ruark or from participating retailers for £199 in the coming weeks.

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