2017 Sound and Vision - The Bristol Show - 30th Anniversary
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A high quality British-designed radio, with great sound and Bluetooth features, with a splendid construction and finish

Our rating

five stars out of five

Where to buy

You can buy the Ruark R1 MKIII (Mark 3) from Amazon in a walnut real wood finish. They also have it in black and white finishes.

You can buy the battery pack from Amazon. They also sell the brown leather and black leather carry pack with handle.

Alternatively, you can buy the R1 Mark 3 online from John Lewis in the walnut, black and white finishes.
You can also buy from Hughes Direct in the walnut, black and white finishes.

Ruark R1 Mark 3 DAB and DAB+ receiver with FM tuner
Ruark R1 Mk III DAB, DAB+ and FM receiver review

27th February 2017

The R1 Mark III, it its 3rd edition since 2015, is a very desireable piece of kit. The radio produces a much bigger sound than you'd expect from its relatively small dimensions. The full-range speaker handles the high notes, midrange and bass with aplomb, offering a punchy and involving sound whether you're tuned to BBC 6 music or Radio 2. Speech stations sound authoritative, warm and lively, without being too overbearing. A distinctive, welcoming sound, we'd say. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one at Sound and Vision - The Bristol Show - in 2017.

Its digital radio tuner is also futureproofed, being both DAB and DAB+ compatible and earning it a 'digital tick', ensuring you can listen to brand new stations broadcasting using the newer DAB+ standard.

The R1 Mark 3 supports standard Bluetooth A2DP audio, letting you stream music held on your 'phone to the receiver, for playback through its speaker.

Separate, twin alarm settings offer weekday, weekend and daily wake-up time settings for you and your partner, and the volume level can be set to a particular level for wake-up calls - helpful if you don't want a volume-laden rude awakening. The OLED display can be set to high, medium and low brightness settings (or even turned off in standby mode with a press of any button to briefly display the time) for use as a bedside radio - these brightness levels are available in both standby and active modes.

The simple RotoDial system, consisting of preset, alarm, station selection and timer buttons around a main control on the top of the radio give the R1 a minimalist, uncluttered appearance.

Should you wish to change the out-of-the-box EQ settings, you can also play with loudness, treble and bass settings through the menu to tweak the R1's sound to your preference. Power output is rated at 9 Watts - impressive, given the unit's compact stature.

3.5mm headphone, line-in and USB charging sockets are positioned around the back, where you'll also find the removable telescopic aerial, which can be swapped for an external aerial sporting an industry-standard F-connector at the end of its shielded cable. Even in the busy electrical environment of a hi-fi show, the retracted aerial pulled in stations without a hitch.

There's little doubt that this radio is a sonic wonder, benefitting from clear, simple controls, a bright OLED display when you need it (that can also be dimmed in active and standby modes for use as a bedside radio) and useful add-ons such as a leather carry pack and rechargeable battery.Ruark R1 MK III in soft black
Ruark R1 Mark III in a soft black finish

Construction is of a very high quality, with the R1 Mark 3 edition available in a variety of finishes - soft (i.e. satin) black, soft white and real walnut. There are two separate alarms, which can be individually adjusted to weekday, weekend, daily or single (once) settings. There are also adjustable snooze and sleep timers.

The R1's dimensions are 170mm tall x 135mm deep x 130mm wide and weighs in at 1.8kg. The music system is mains or battery powered, with the optional add-on rechargeable battery pack.

The Ruark R1 Mark 3 is priced around £220. For lots of finishes and add-on options, take a look in the left-hand column above for where to buy the R1 Mark 3 online.
Ruark R1 RotoDial
Ruark R1 DAB and DAB+ radio receiver - RotoDial
Ruark R1 Mark III rear panel
Ruark R1 DAB and DAB+ radio receiver in walnut finish - rear panel connections
Ruark R1 Mark 3 in soft white finish
Ruark R1 Mark 3 in soft white finish

other DAB digital radio receivers and audio systems to consider:
Ruark R2 Mark 3 streaming music system review
Ruark R4 Mark 3 integrated music system review
Pure Elan E3 kitchen radio with colour screen
Pure H2, H4 and H6 range of DAB digital radios
Pure Evoke C-F6, Evoke C-D6 and Evoke C-D4 with CD player or internet radio functionality

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