Revo SuperSystem vs. Ruark R2 Mk3

All-in-one music systems are the modern equivalent of the old home stereo, featuring updated technology, connectivity and functionality. Leading models are the Revo Supersystem and the Ruark R2 Mk3, both of which have a wide range of impressive features at a very reasonable price. But when buying a system to suit your needs, how do you choose between them?

 

Revo SuperSystem

The Revo SuperSystem launched in 2015 in direct competition with the already established Ruark R2. It followed on from the successful SuperConnect, which won the What HiFi ‘Best Radio £200+’ award in the same year, to provide a product with a wide range of features.

Design and Appearance

The most widely sold model has a walnut cabinet with anodised aluminium fascia and mild steel cabinet. It has a distinctive retro appearance and there are also black and white versions. The choice of materials is influenced not only by their good looks but also their feel and the fact they help to create high-quality sound.

Music Selection and Connectivity

The Revo provides plenty of radio options that cover FM with RDS, DAB, DAB+ and internet, giving access to over 24,000 stations nationally and around the world. Added to that, there’s Spotify Connect that provides over 30 million songs for Spotify Premium account holders.

Wireless streaming from a number of sources is enabled through Bluetooth, with Qualcomm aptX technology providing CD quality from supported devices. DLNA and WLAN technology allow playback from NAS drives and various other devices.

There’s also a 3.5mm input, RCA out, headphone out, Ethernet, optical in and out, and a USB port for charging and input from memory sticks, with compatible audio codecs including AAC, AAC+, WAV, WMA and FLAC.

Controls and Display

The Revo can be operated in a number of ways. There’s a large knob on top of the cabinet that’s simply used to adjust the volume, several buttons that control playback, presets, etc., and a small joystick that navigates the menu system.

Also supplied is a remote that can be used to control the device or, if that isn’t convenient, you can download an UNDOK app to a mobile device and use this instead. That includes the ability to distribute whatever’s playing to various rooms in the house, providing they have compatible Revo devices.

A 2.7” OLED display provides information about what’s playing and is clear enough to be read from a distance.

Other Features

The Revo has an 80-watt amplifier that delivers sound through two 3.5-inch flat panel BMR speakers. The effect is high quality sound that can fill a large room and is forceful and subtle at the same time.

A dual alarm is incorporated with sleep and snooze functions, and there’s a multi-country power supply in the box. Power consumption is 48.64 watts in operation and 0.758 watts on standby.

Reviews and Awards

The Revo has won multiple awards, including the What HiFi Best All-in-One System award in 2017. It also received the Red Dot Product Design award, which recognises good industrial design, innovation, quality and functionality.

Reviews frequently mention the product’s great build quality, extensive functions and superb sound.

Brand Reputation

Revo was founded in Lanark, Scotland, in 2004 and is a specialist designer of digital audio devices. It has a good reputation for sound quality and its products are sold in twenty countries. The company’s AXiS hybrid radio features in the National Museum of Scotland’s permanent collection.

 

Ruark Audio R2 Mk3

The Ruark Audio R2 is a well-established and highly regarded product that is now in its third version. The latest model appeared in 2015 and has been a market favourite since then.

Design and Appearance

As is common these days, the Ruark has a retro look with up-to-date features. The cabinet, available in handcrafted rich walnut or a soft white or black lacquer, has a steel front panel. The selected materials are intended to not only look good but also deliver excellent sound quality.

Music Selection and Connectivity

Radio is provided through FM, DAB, and DAB+ tuners, plus an internet tuner to give access to stations worldwide, with thirty station pre-sets (ten each for DAB, FM and internet). There’s also Spotify Connect that gives access to a vast array of music.

There’s Bluetooth with aptX technology for CD quality sound from compatible devices, WiFi for internet radio and wireless DLNA for audio streaming from networked storage devices and PCs. Additionally, there’s multi-room capability so several compatible devices can broadcast around the house.

Other connectivity is available through a USB port for playback and charging, stereo headphone output, telescopic aerial and two line inputs for audio devices. Audio codecs include AAC, WAV, WMA, MP3 and FLAC.

Controls and Display

The Ruark’s RotoDial control system gives access to all menu options and is provided instead of multiple buttons for different actions. Operation is as for all Ruark devices, turning the dial to scroll and pressing to select.

Alternatively, there’s a remote control provided and availability of the UNDOK app that can be downloaded to control the Ruark from a smartphone or tablet device.

The OLED display has a large format clock and other information. It has adjustable brightness and is easily viewable from all angles.

Other Features

Sound is delivered through a 20-watt output amplifier and there’s a loudness function to enhance sounds at low volume and a 3D sound mode for a bigger and bolder sound.

Also incorporated is a dual alarm with multiple settings, adjustable volume and sleep and snooze modes. This device tends to be a bit cheaper than the Revo SuperSystem.

Reviews and Awards

The Ruark R2 Mk3 is generally considered a quality product that delivers exceptional sound and has a large number of features. It won the 2015 What HiFi award in the All-in-One System category.

Brand Reputation

Ruark is a family-run British business that was founded in 1985. It has a reputation for good build quality and has plenty experience in producing high-quality speakers. As a result, it’s considered one of the best producers of audio products.

 

Making a Choice

Both these music systems are remarkably similar in terms of functionality, connectivity, build quality and exceptional sound output. They’re both also extremely attractive products (if you like the retro style) and so choosing between them may not be easy.

The Revo SuperSystem is by far the biggest and heaviest at 43 x 22 x 16.5 centimetres and 9.8 kilogrammes as against 34 x 18.5 x 12 centimetres and 3.6 kilogrammes for the Ruark. It also delivers the most volume to the point where one review believes it’s only suitable for large rooms and recommends turning off the loudness mode in any case. If space is at a premium, therefore, the Ruark R2 Mk3 may be your choice.

How you are able to handle the controls may also be a consideration, with the Ruark’s Rotodial being thought complex by some while others believe the Revo’s joystick is too fiddly. Both, however, have the alternative of a remote and an UNDOK app.

If you really can’t choose, it may come down to price, the Ruark typically being over £100 cheaper. Shop around, however, to see the current best price:

 

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