Ruark R4i CD/DAB/FM/USB/Bluetooth Audio System
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- Compact Design
- CD & USB Player
- DAB/FM Tuner
- iPod Dock
- Bluetooth Dongle
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One glance at R4i and youll desire one. Listen and this emotion grows stronger because R4i produces a stunning sound that you will simply not expect from such an attractive and compact design. Comprising a multi format CD player, iPod dock, USB playback port, DAB/DAB+/FM tuner and auxiliary inputs allied to a powerful amplifier/speaker system the R4i is in many ways a traditional music centre, though one designed and engineered for the 21st Century. The R4i is the result of our desire to design and build the best small audio products available. As an example, most compact systems use amplifier chipsets for simplicity and cost, but for R4i we developed our own Class A-B amplifiers using discrete component technology. This complex technique is usually only found in high quality, high value audio separates.
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Top Customer Reviews
My first impression on opening the box was that for a small player it was quite big and also pretty heavy (always a good sign, as this means it is packed full of components), so I was glad that my shelf was deep enough to hold it. If you're thinking of buying one for a particular space, check the dimensions first.
I turned the player on, wondering whether it would find any DAB stations with the ariel halfway up, discretely hidden behind some books. The process was effortless and within half a minute, I'd programmed all of my favourite radio stations.
The sound quality didn't hit me at first and I was a little alarmed to discover that instead of a bass and treble function, or a wide range of equalizer presets, the number of options was quite limited. But as I spent the evening playing different types of music, experimenting with the radio, CD player and USB port, I realised that the sound was so perfect, it didn't need 'enhancing'.
Listening to the player now, with its powerful (but not oppressive) bass and natural-sounding treble, it is hard to believe that the sound is coming from a small unit with speakers that are so close to each other. This is, without a doubt, the best player I have ever bought. I use mine in a small room so the volume is relatively low, but when I've turned it right up to test a dense, orchestral passage, there is absolutely no distortion or loss of quality. This player could easily cope with a large hall as well as a small room.Read more ›
I am happy to report that the almost universal praise for this item is well deserved. I have B&O speakers, have dabbled with B&W and have long since abandoned the fiction that Bose offers anything except a lesson in the power of marketing. Ruark has produced a unit that is capapble of impossibly good sound. The 3D setting really does generate a spatial sound projection that is extraordinary when one considers the speakers are barely one and a half feet apart.
The design is simple, but it's nice to feel how substantial this product is. There is ample functionality too - with USB input as well as DAB and a CD player. The availability of input and oputput sockets means that you will be able to hook it up to other audio devices.
This is a magnificent product and I recommend it to you without reservation.
The biggest benefit it offers is lack of clutter and wires that comes with sound separates. You literally just plug it in, screw in the aerial, turn it on and that's it. DAB radio reception is clear and punchy across a range of stations, and the iPod and CD sound is rich - offering a much deeper sound stage than you'd expect with small speakers set not too far apart. In addition to the two main speakers, there's a down-firing bass speaker under the unit, which delivers surprisingly crisp, plummy base notes.
The only slight drawback from a design point of view - in my opinion - is the fact that everything is controlled from the remote, which is powered by AAAA batteries (not the easiest ones in the world to find!). Having some control options built into the unit would offer a Plan B if the remote packs up; so this is a slight niggle.
Vita is clearly doing something right with their approach to "serious small audio". The R4i has won several awards, and on seeing it, using it and listening to it, you can understand why. Now at the heart of Ruark's product strategy for the next 5 years, it seems they're set to make this market something of their own.
If you're serious about your sound, but are considering a move away from sound separates (something that influenced my own buying choice here) - then this really should be on the list to audition. Excellent product.
I relied on a local audio systems shop to order this for me. It took a while to receive the one we ordered, mainly because we had ordered the wood finish. We were told that it would be a couple of weeks. In the end it was more like four times that. The reason we were told was that they were not happy with the wood finish they had received as a casing. The shop me lent me their display model in the mean time. Now I have the wood finish version, I can't quite get why anyone would want any of the other options. The sound is that smidgen richer, and it looks gorgeous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a brilliant little system with amazing sound quality. I chose the walnut finish as it gives the system a nice 'retro' look. Read morePublished on 20 July 2014 by Neilybags
I received the R4i yesterday. What impressed me first is the weight. It is a substantial piece of equipment. The wood-metal finish is gorgeous, classic, robust. Read morePublished on 12 July 2014 by Marcelo E.
I wanted to upgrade in terms of volume output from my modest Bose system so looked at various options including the latest Bose models. Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2014 by Malcolm Maggs
First of all I wanna say that the R4i is fantastic.
Second I have to remove 1 star, because the display was loose when I got the player. Read more
Bought this just before Christmas as a temporary solution to the problem of a 20 year old Linn Active system which was starting to behave oddly and which Linn won't now service... Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by Scary Reader
This for its size is the finest and best sound I have ever heard, a superb device, the only slight problem there is no built in blue tooth you have to buy a reciever, makes a Bose... Read morePublished on 21 Jan. 2014 by Midge
My other half bought the R4i even though he was dead set on purchasing Bose (he thought this little gem beat Bose's sound quality and other factors by a mile) and he is so happy... Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2014 by Rossi Fan
I've had the R4i for about 5 months now, and feel that I am able to give a more balanced appraisal of the system. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2014 by Erudite