Ruark Audio R7 Home Audio System
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Taking over three years to develop, R7 is the realisation of Ruark's dream to reinvent the revered radiograms of yesteryear but with style and technology that brings the radiogram ideology completely up to date! With stunning design and amazing audio quality, it's a revolutionary music centre in the true spirit of the classic radiogram, which is guaranteed to reignite your passion for music and radio.
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I first heard of Ruark Audio when I brought my wife a R1 for the bedroom. This is a quality little DAB radio and is still going strong 5 years on. When the R7 was released I had to have a listen. It ticked all the boxes for me. Beautiful design and I can use it with my TV. I decided to buy one.
Firstly, I was very impressed with the built quality. It has a lovely walnut veneer that is lovely to touch as well as other luxurious materials. The display is fantastic. It is really crisp and you can change the brightness off it if need be, I love the green on black. The remote control connects wirelessly to the R7 so you don’t have to point it directly at it to change any of the parameters such as the volume or source.
I brought mine with the optional AV mount and have mounted a 42” Panasonic television on it and it looks superb. I mainly use it for the television sound via the optical input, and for this it’s amazing. But there are so many other functions I love. I use it to stream music wirelessly from my Apple computer and listed to the internet radio. The setup for this was very easy and i have set a massive amount of presets so that it’s easy to navigate. CD’s have a really engaging sound. There is lots of bass if you want it but if you stick on some classical music the separation is excellent.
I am a very fussy about sound quality. I used to have lots of separates and high end speakers but I am not missing them at all. This is a wonderful all in one package that is a design classic of the future. Everyone that walks in my living room comments on it and can’t believe the sound it produces.
It does come at a premium but it’s well worth it.
I owned the Ruark R7 Radiogram for 10 days now, and this is what I think so far.
The Ruark R7 is a nicely finished unit, I couldn't fault the way it is presented and confident that is built right. Keep in mind that the styling is very 70's though, and it might not match your decor.
Having said that, the remote, although has a metal back, feels very flimsy and hollow in the hand. It is form over function, with buttons hard to read, and since it is round, sometimes difficult to locate the right button. I also found that occasionally it didn't respond at all, and this is from a metre away, or even sitting in its cradle on top of the unit.
So far I used it on CD, Apple TV on optical input, and DAB. No issues there. However I cannot connect to my WiFi router. My router is 2.4Ghz 802.11N and this should be fine according to the specs, but although my router can easily connect to nine other devices, the Ruark fails to connect to it. Tried everything that I could think of but it still refuses to connect even without a wifi password, it sees the network, but connection fails. I reset the Ruark and router several times in the process. Wifi Signal is a full 5 bar strong on a mobile phone next to it. There is no ethernet port alternative.
I contacted Ruark UK but they only recommended to update the router firmware, which did nothing to solve the issue. Then they didn't bother to reply to my followup questions. Very disappointing, especially considering the price tag of this thing.
Sound is good but not great. My living area is roughly 10m x 5m and it feels underpowered for that space. Don't get me wrong, it does get loud, but at lower, normal listening volumes (without disturbing the neighbours) the sound was well below my expectations. You will get much better sound if you spend the same money on separate devices. The Ruark R7 replaced a Maranz CR-603 receiver with 28 years old Monitor Audio speakers, and the latter sounded much better. I upgraded to the Ruark mainly for the Wifi connectivity, which is not working.
Another disappointment is that the USB at the back can only charge a device, and not play music directly from it. It also desperately needs a remote app for smart phones.
My conclusion is that this is not a good buy, and will stay away from Ruark in the future. Their support is disappointing on one of the more expensive devices the sell, and probably worse on their cheaper devices.
I will update if Ruark helps me solve the issues, or I discover more quirks or benefits of the unit.
I will update