Ruark Audio R1 Mk3 Tabletop Radio review

British firm Ruark Audio makes high-quality audio hardware. Its R1 Mk3 Tabletop Radio blends a minimalistic, stylish design with awesome audio quality and plenty of functionality. You can pick up the R1 MK3 from Amazon for £199. See all Bluetooth speakers.

In design the R1 Mk3 Tabletop Radio is striking, both elegant and simple. We love the handcrafted wooden cabinet, with rounded edges and sides.

On the front sits a simplistic rectangular display. This OLED panel is sharp and clear, and allows you to specify one of four brightness levels: low, medium, high and off. We were pleased to find you can choose different brightness levels for when the device is on standby or mid-flow.

Underneath this display the drive unit is protected by a circular-shaped black aluminium grill. Both are enclosed in an opaque grey polymer material that feels smooth and solid to the touch.

The control buttons sit on top of the radio, with eight buttons encircling the centre dial. This dial is used to control volume or as an option selector button. Both buttons and dial are made of a rubberised black material that is soft to the touch. The intuitive control system is easy to use. See also: Best budget Bluetooth speakers for 2015.

On the base of the Ruark Audio R1 MK3 Tabletop Radio are four rubberised feet that afford it stability on a flat surface. At the back is an extendable aerial, plus all the essential ports: there's USB and a line-in audio input for plugging in a phone or iPod, plus a slot to plug in the external power supply and a headphone jack.

The R1 MK3 also builds in Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music or listen to tracks provided by online services such as Apple Music.

The Ruark Audio R1 Mk3 is an ideal kitchen radio, designed to sit on the table and keep you entertained as you get on with the cooking. It’s not a portable device, measuring 170x30x135mm and weighing 1.8kg. However, you can separately buy a protective case that includes a handle for carrying the radio.

A useful features is its two alarm clocks - one for weekdays and the other for lazy weekend mornings. See also: Best cheap headphones 2015.

Ruark Audio R1 MK3 review: Audio quality

We were surprised by the Ruark Audio radio's audio quality. With its strong usability and feature list, we expected the audio to be the hidden flaw. We were wrong.

The Ruark Audio R1 MK3 Tabletop Radio boasts trembling bass with great timbre. It sounds awesome with bass guitar music. Bass is then balanced by sharp and crispy highs and mids.

Plus, you can adjust the bass, treble and volume, meaning you can enhance the sound at different volume levels and ensure you always get an awesome audio performance.

As a speaker, R1 Mk3 tabletop radio sounds great, both when streaming music or connected via a cable to a computer or audio devices. And as a radio, the audio quality is still incredibly good. There are 10 preset stations with broadcasts from all over the world supported.

The Ruark Audio R1 MK3 Tabletop Radio will be your trusty audio companion, waking you up on grisly mornings with a soft acoustic track, assisting in the kitchen with a chilled soundtrack, and cheering along your house parties with pop hits.

Read next: Best headphones 2015

Ruark Audio R1 Mk3 Tabletop Radio: Specs

  • DAB, DAB+ and FM tuner with RDS
  • USB charge port
  • 9 watts nominal power output
  • Switchable auxiliary input
  • Stereo headphone output
  • 3.5” custom drive unit
  • OLED display
  • Dual alarm function
  • A2DP Bluetooth audio receiver
  • 170x130x135mm
  • 1.8kg
  • DAB, DAB+ and FM tuner with RDS
  • USB charge port
  • 9 watts nominal power output
  • Switchable auxiliary input
  • Stereo headphone output
  • 3.5” custom drive unit
  • OLED display
  • Dual alarm function
  • A2DP Bluetooth audio receiver
  • 170x130x135mm
  • 1.8kg

OUR VERDICT

Loads of functionality, a sophisticated design and excellent sound quality are important ingredients for this excellent kitchen radio from Ruark Audio. The R1 MK3 Tabletop Radio is worth every penny of its £199 RRP.