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on 14 December 2012
Beautiful sound and finish. The NEW R4i does not have the previous models problems, and has many upgraded components inside. I'm really happy with mine. The sound is rich. Brass and woodwind sound amazing. Vocals seem impossibly clear and the remote control, which is mainly used for the volume, can be used by touch alone; which you can't do on normal shaped ones. In short, I'd buy it again.
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VINE VOICEon 14 July 2013
There's no doubt that this handsome beast has a bigger, deeper sound than one might expect from its size and performs very well, and doubtless has some very impressive bits of technology under the bonnet, and these factors go some way to justifying the high price asked. I have used mine mainly to stream music content from my PC, using a USB digital converter (Audioquest Dragonfly) outputting to the Ruark's AUX input, and occasionally to play CDs or listen to DAB or FM radio. I haven't yet used the iPod dock, the USB input or any alarm function. Whilst overall very pleased with most aspects, particularly its audio quality, I do have a few niggles.

Most of the minuses are related to the remote. The unit itself only has one front control apart from the remote, this being the power stand-by button (a switch on the rear will shut the machine down completely). The circular remote doubles as the main controls when docked in the recess on the top of the unit. If the remote fails or you don't have a replacement battery, you can't do anything except switch the unit on or off, so you'd have to hope that the last remembered setting was the one you wanted and the volume level appropriate.

The remote has twelve radial buttons and a central knob that doubles as an on/off standby and volume control. The knob is electronic and offers a number of volume stages, or if you hold the knob left or right the volume will decrease or increase until you release it or it reaches its limit. It is geared quite highly and I generally find one stage is too quiet and the next is too loud.

There is a Source button that lets you scan through various modes, using separate arrow buttons, and a third button labelled OK finally performs the action you wanted - it requires two hands and a lot of key presses, and seems unnecessarily complicated, counter-intuitive and time-consuming. The arrows are also the track selectors if you are playing a CD - there is no program mode so expect a lot of key pressing if you want a track in the middle of a CD (you can also press and hold, but you'd have to study the manual to find that out); in DAB and FM there is thankfully an option of 5 pre-sets in either mode. The track play/pause button doesn't have a Stop symbol but actually does work as such if you press and hold - again this isn't obvious. Yes, one should study the manual, but you wouldn't expect a guest to have to in order to perform a simple operation.

When you insert a CD, the R4i automatically switches the source to CD and auto plays from track one, but when you eject the CD it does not switch you back to the previous source; you need to go through the rigmarole of selecting it again.

I'm used to the processing delay one gets on DAB radio, which varies from radio to radio and from satellite receivers and digital TVs, but I have never previously experienced any delay on an FM radio. Normally you can move from room to room switching radios on and off and each one is perfectly synchronized, with the pips accurately conveying the time. Not so with the Ruark R4i - there is an annoying delay almost as long as with its DAB mode.

Some of these design niggles shouldn't be on a machine of this calibre at this asking price, but overall they can't take away from its high audio qualities. Without them it would be a five star machine.
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on 31 December 2014
Love it, a fantastic piece of kit, easy to use, great sound. Of course you can buy all the elements of this system separately and get a better sound but imagine the trailing wires, additional space, hours of fine tuning and explaining all the bits to your nerd hi-fi mate! With this you just say "I've got a Ruark R4I" and the people in the know are quietly impressed. No problem with the remote, I don't need it to have the range from my garden shed to the lounge, and I picked up some spare AAAA batteries from ...... Tesco. It's not perfect, for example ................... hang on, can't think of anything, it is perfect!
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on 16 August 2014
Bought this as a refurbished item directly from Ruark website,therefore at reduced price.This is a fantastic product.Sound and reliability to me take priority and both are first class.You get what you pay for and this is pure quality,the workmanship is superb.I appreciated this item so much I have since bought it,s smallest brother for the bedroom,again,no regrets.Superb examples of quality Made in Britain.I feel only the Germans could rival this quality.
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on 3 May 2013
What can I say???
Absolutely awesome!!!
Wife happy, because small and sleek, I'm happy because sufficient sound quality for size.
A little expensive and could do with UTP capability.

My choice was for a more conventional set-up with separate amp and speakers, however the wife was against me doing this so this Ruark is the BEST compromise.
And white is a good colour to go with!!!

What's more its easy to take the Ruark in the car to a holiday cottage and have some great tunes when on holiday instead of relying on the usual crappy sound system we so often find in holiday accommodation.
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on 9 April 2014
Have it, love it, worship it, adore it. I bought this and fell in love with classical music all over again and yet for all of the CDs I've bought since I got it I spend most of my time using it as a radio and it sounds spectacular set on e.g. Classic FM. The depth and clarity is mind blowing.
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on 4 September 2013
Purchased because of reviews, was looking for compact music system this fits the purpose.
I would strongly recommend, and fast delivery.
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on 20 February 2013
I worried about spending so much money on an ipod dock, but I have been absolutely delighted by this machine. It has a digital radio, FM radio, USB input, CD player & aux in unlike almost any other similar system, but most importantly, it sounds utterly terrific in a completely effortless way. I consider myself a bit of an audiophile bore, but quite honestly I think this thing sounds as lively and engaging as anyone could possibly want or expect. Sounded a bit "tight" and cold initially, but it's now really singing, after a months use. Sorry if this sounds a bit pretentious. Do buy one.
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on 19 June 2013
You won't get a better sound system than this for the price.. Absolutely crystal clear sound, even on full volume.. It's a really stylish piece of kit that has everyone talking when they see it.. The remote control is a work of art and completely idiot proof?!! As a man who likes his gadgets, this is by far my best buy for a couple of years....Enjoy the Vibe !!
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on 19 January 2013
My goodness, this item produces fantastic sound quality, and does not struggle with any type of music. The workmanship is fantastic and the end quality is simply second to none. In short, I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is superb.
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