Ruark Au­dio MR1 Mk2 £329

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

It’s two in a row for Ruark here as the ex­cel­lent MR1 Mk2s re­tain their Award. And so they should; these are won­der­fully mu­si­cal speak­ers, de­liv­er­ing rich de­tail and fluid dy­nam­ics in a way that you wouldn’t ex­pect from such diminu­tive boxes.

There’s plenty of space be­tween in­stru­ments in the airy sound­stage, which means that mu­sic takes on an ex­pan­sive feel that makes most of the MR1 Mk2s’ com­pe­ti­tion sound con­gested in com­par­i­son.

The dom­i­nant bassline in SBTRKT’S Wild­fire is taut and packs a punch. The MR1S have no trou­ble in ren­der­ing its deep, squelchy tex­ture. They time well too; the mag­nif­i­cent pomp of David Bowie’s Magic

Dance blares through the Ruarks with ter­rific verve and sparkle.

Hi-fi level of in­sight

Thanks to an ex­pres­sive midrange, voices sound lovely. Bella Hardy’s The

Driv­ing of the Deer is de­liv­ered with the kind of ef­fort­less drive and in­sight we’d ex­pect from de­cent hi-fi speak­ers. There’s a pleas­ing so­lid­ity un­der­pin­ning the rich, warm midrange, and the el­e­gance with which her lilt­ing, nim­ble vo­cals are de­liv­ered is sim­ply gor­geous.

The MR1 Mk2s are lovely to lis­ten to, but their stylish retro looks are a huge part of the charm too – though the ro­tary con­trol dial on the top adds a con­tem­po­rary touch.

An­other mod­ern fea­ture is the op­ti­cal in­put that can sup­port hi-res au­dio up to 24-bit/192khz. It joins a 3.5mm aux in­put and a sub­woofer out at the back of the right speaker, which houses all am­pli­fi­ca­tion and con­nec­tions.

These Mk2 Ruarks are de­light­ful to use and lis­ten to. In our view, no other pow­ered speaker like this sounds bet­ter.

“There’s a pleas­ing so­lid­ity un­der­pin­ning the rich, warm midrange, and the el­e­gance with which her lilt­ing, nim­ble vo­cals are de­liv­ered is sim­ply gor­geous.”

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