The Ruark R3 Music System plays your songs without voice assistant interruptions

It’s got a CD player player player player...
14 July 2020 / 22:57BST

See ya Siri, get lost Google Assistant, go away Alexa. The Ruark R3 (£629) is an all-in-one music system that doesn’t feel the need to include built-in voice smarts. You can connect an Echo Dot or Google Nest Mini if you must, but that’s really not the point. For a start it’s got a CD player, something called FM radio, and comes in a completely sober rich walnut or lacquered soft grey finish. Perhaps the family-run British brand is onto something, though, and lockdown has rekindled our love for the simple things in life, because not only is Ruark on course for a record year, it saw more business in April this year than during the Christmas run up in November last year, and the first two production runs of the R3 have already been snapped up by retailers. Still, if the new normal turns out to be a flash in the pan, the R3 still allows you to do distinctly modern things, like stream songs with Spotify Connect, Tidal, Amazon Music and Deezer over Wi-Fi, or USB-C playback and Bluetooth aptX for everything else. Any remaining cool cats can indulge in internet and DAB radio, while a digital optical input serves to add some extra beef to your TV’s inferior audio. Powering the R3’s NS+ neodymium drivers is a high-fidelity two-channel Class A-B amplifier with Ruark’s own algorithms and digital sound processing to make sure everything sounds on point – whether it’s your dad’s copy of The Dark Side of the Moon, Spotify’s copy of The Dark Side of the Moon, the BBC radio archives copy of The Dark Side of the Moon, or Later with Jools Holland’s The Dark Side of the Moon special.

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