Ruark Audio has released the third version of their R2 model, which now has Multi-room functionality. The brand has been around for 35 years and the R2 mk3 shows that they know what they are doing. The functionality list is long and includes playing music from the local network through DLNA, Spotify Connect, DAB+ and internet radio.
R2 is controlled in three ways, from your smart phones native Spotify app and for playing Bluetooth, the on device buttons called RotoDial and a small remote. The display shows song information and also helps when interacting with the system. For now, there is no dedicated Ruark app for controlling the unit/s, but a release is planned this year.
R2 has Bluetooth with aptX support, for maximum quality over Bluetooth.
You can play your local music from Sources that supports DLNA or by simply attached a hard drive or USB memory to the R2. The music can be in a variety of audio codec’s including WMA, AAC, FLAC, MP3, MP2 and Real Audio. R2 supports up to CD quality, 44.1KHz/16-bit.
You can also enhance your TV sound by connecting it to the R2 through its phono sockets. The sound will then play through the R2 which has better sound quality than a TV. A bulkier sound bar if you will.
If you are a Spotify user, or don’t use online services except radio, R2 will suit your needs really good. But if you prefer some other online service, like Google Play Music, Wimp, Rdio, then you are restricted to use them through Bluetooth, which is ok as a compliment now and then, but perhaps not for everyday core usage.