2017 Sound and Vision - The Bristol Show - 30th Anniversary
DAB plus unofficial logo

Lovely build quality, excellent firmware upgrades, plenty of features and connectivity - all in a British-designed one-box solution

Our rating

five stars out of five

Where to buy

You can buy the Ruark R4 MKIII (Mark 3) from Amazon in a walnut real wood finish. They also have it in black and white finishes.Check out the limited edition titanium finish.Alternatively, you can buy 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 R4 Mark 3 integrated music system
Ruark R4 Mk III integrated music system review

27th February 2017

Ruark's R4 Mark III edition will have you searching around the back, looking for another set of speakers, hidden away.

Surely the R4 can't produce such an involving sound with the main speakers set barely one-and-a-half feet apart? The downward-firing active subwoofer and ported enclosure are reponsible for such a big sound from a small system. The system produces a captivating three-dimensional soundscape thanks to a clever 3D sound setting. Between the three speakers, 80 Watts power output is on tap - more than enough for room-filling sound and means the R4 is easily accommodating to be used as your main system. You'll want to have the R4 on show, if only to prove how box-clever Ruark are in achieving such as sound from a relatively compact enclosure.

The R4 will happily sit on a deep, solid bookshelf or table to make the most of your music collection.

Adjust the treble and bass settings if you want to, or even turn off the impressive 3D spatial mode, but the R4 delivers a show-stopping performance whatever you throw at it. Pop and rock are delivered with punch and clarity, while orchestral pieces benefit from the enhanced soundstage supplied by the R4's 3D signal processing.

The slot-loading CD player reads standard audio CDs, mp3, AAC and WMA-encoded disks - useful if you're playing music curated from your own collection onto CD. There's ID3 tag support, so you can easily identify and skip tracks as you see fit.

A set of gold plated line-level RCA phono inputs and outputs are located on the rear panel, so you can connect a turntable phono pre-amp box, and pass output to another audio system if desired, together with a telescopic aerial featuring an industry-standard F-connector for hooking up to an external dipole aerial or similar. There's a digital optical input, too - perhaps you'd like to hook up your telly's audio for playback through the R4? A USB port for playback of music held on a memory stick (and charging your 'phone) is also present. Located on the front, there's a 3.5mm headphone socket and 3.5mm Aux in socket for quick wired connections from your 'phone or MP3 player.

DAB, DAB+ and FM radio stations (with RDS station naming) can be quickly recalled via the system's RotoDial controller or remote control; all information is displayed on the R4's clear, bright, high quality OLED display.

The R4 Mark 3 supports the newer Bluetooth aptx profile, found on some higher end smartphones, to enable you to stream high quality audio wirelessly between your 'phone and the system. The R2 also handles regular A2DP Bluetooth audio, which is handy if you just want to pair a midrange 'phone to the R2.

Weighing in at 7kg, the 440mm wide, 140mm tall and 250mm deep Mark 3 R4 is ideally located on a sturdy bookshelf, window bay or coffee table.

The R4 provides a useful array of features for £700, and is ideal if you're looking for a one-box audio system that won't take up too much space in your living room. Its digital radio tuner is also futureproofed, being both DAB and DAB+ compatible and earning it a 'digital tick'.

Check out the left-hand column for where to buy the Ruark R4 Mark 3 edition online, or scroll down to see more photos of finishes that the R4 is available in.
Ruark R4 rear panel connections
Ruark R4 integrated music system in real walnut finish - rear panel connections
Ruark R4 CD slot-loading and front fascia
Ruark R4 streaming music system in walnut finish - fascia panel
Ruark R4 remote control and RotoDial controller
Ruark R4 remote control and integrated RotoDial controller

other DAB digital radio receivers and audio systems to consider:
Ruark R2 Mark 3 streaming music system review
Ruark R1 Mark 3 streaming music system review
Revo SuperSignal tabletop internet radio and DAB+
Revo SuperConnect tabletop internet radio and DAB+
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

news index | home