I wouldn’t hesitate if this was my budget for a flexible Bluetooth, and other, stereo speaker.
This is a review of the rather excellent Ruark MR1 Mk2 which is a Bluetooth, and other, stereo speaker system. It has a distinctly retro feel but is extremely contemporary in style and very well built in my view.
Far be it for me to suggest you shell out over £300 for a Bluetooth speaker set for your children, but my kids have not stopped using this for playing music in their room for a good week or so and that is how simple it is to use. The Ruark MR1 Mk2 has graduated from the kitchen, where it was situated around the sink area simply interconnected by the long 3.5mm jack between the two speakers to the kid’s room, and I am in danger of not seeing it again, this is going to be a problem when it goes back.
The speakers are…well worth the money and represent excellent value for money in my view
The Ruark MR1 Mk2 is in fact a pair of contemporary designed active speakers interconnected by a long 3.5mm jack cable that enables you get a nice stereo sound in any room. The speakers are pricey but well worth the money and represent excellent value for money in my view. The Ruark MR1 Mk2 features a Bluetooth connection, a 3.5mm input for iPods and smartphones and the like as well as an optical input for any digital needs you have, for example streamers or TVs. Indeed, this may well rival many daft looking soundbars I have come across.
The MR1 features a sub-woofer output which is very interesting indeed when it comes to the TV thing and it makes this a very flexible TV soundbar alternative. Notwithstanding the price, it strikes me this too would sit well either side of your double bed, on a desktop, in your garage or just in the garden when you’re outside, generally. There is in fact a portable battery pack (called a BackPack, near £60) that Ruark sell.
The Ruark MR1 Mk2 needs to have power to one of the speakers, the right one supposedly, though it makes no odds to me it seems. The system is controlled with a very tidy click wheel on the top of one of the speakers that controls the input source and volume. There is a matching remote control which does the same.
Ruark MR1 Mk2 Quality
The speaker system is extremely nicely put together and it is a well thought out system. There is nothing to raise concern about its longer term build quality and at this price this is how you expect it.
The Bluetooth performance is very good, I have had no problem with connectivity with my Nexus 6P smartphone. What is very interesting is that the lower frequencies are very nicely reproduced and give a very satisfying sound. ‘Coldplay’s ‘Everglow’ has a deep base line and come across well, even at volume. I have had absolutely no issues with Bluetooth connectivity, even wandering across the house through two wall and forgetting I was connected was fine.
The line in is similarly very pleasing indeed, with an iPod or smartphone the sound is good enough at this price level. The system seems to be very flexible indeed.
As a soundbar for TV with sub-woofer
I have put the MR1 on the TV to see how it sounded. It is really easy to do, I put the optical feed from the TV into the powered speaker instead of the existing LG Soundbar. Because the interconnecting cable is so long, the speakers straddle the TV with ease. The sound is better than my existing LG Soundbar (which in fairness is a ninety quid job), with more depth and Huw Edwards sounded more authoritative this morning during the election results. I am very impressed with the performance, not least because we have a nice Bluetooth option in the lounge for random radio shows, podcasts and the like.
I have hooked up my Bluesound sub-woofer to this set-up. It needed a longer RCA interconnect to set it up, more wires round the TV, but I need the sub in the corner to get away with it! The sub-woofer output is excellent it must be said and a quick Blu Ray disc of John Mayer’s ‘Where the Light Is’ pulls all the depth through. A quick look at the Millennium Falcon running from those TIE fighters in ‘The Force Awakens’ (Lightside version for the record!) was absolutely thrilling.
the sound is rich, fulsome and very enjoyable indeed
I’m just left wondering where this sits best in the house, in the kitchen for everyday use, in the lounge with the TV (and a sub if you have one and like films), on my desktop, in a small person’s bedroom? The fact is all of these. Indeed, I note, there is no multi-room function here which could enable a Mk3 to clean up if Ruark get it right. In summary, the sound is rich, fulsome and very enjoyable indeed. I wouldn’t hesitate if this was my budget for a flexible Bluetooth, and other, stereo speaker.
Multiroom in the Mk3
A two for one offer would be good (!)
More information and the shop is here from Ruark.