ReviewsRuark R1S review (2023) a high quality bookshelf speaker

Ruark R1S review (2023) a high quality bookshelf speaker

Using adaptive equalization, the company says, the R1S makes a sound that is easy to listen to at all volume levels.


Design and Features
Sound Quality


The Ruark R1S costs and for that you get a compact bookshelf radio that looks pretty much identical to the beloved R1 Mk4, albeit in a pretty cool slate gray unit instead of the light cream or espresso of the existing model. It measures 130 x 135 x 175 mm (WDH) and weighs a reassuring 1.5 kg without the optional BackPack 3 battery.

The Ruark R1S costs £299, and for that money you get a small bookshelf radio that looks almost exactly like the popular R1 Mk4, but in a cool slate grey color instead of light cream or espresso like the current model. It has a width of 130 mm, a depth of 135 mm, and a height of 175 mm (WDH). It weighs 1.5 kg without the optional BackPack 3 battery.

Ruark R1S: Description

It has the same clever rotary dial controls as the R1 Mk4, and the same 2.5-inch OLED screen. Even if you only use it as a DAB radio or Bluetooth speaker, it works the same way. The dial controls the volume and lets you move through the options in a menu. When you’re ready to choose, you click down on the speaker. The keys around it can be used to change the station, track, or preset, switch between sources, or set alarms.

As someone who has several Amazon Echo and Google Nest speakers around his apartment and is tempted to buy either the new Apple HomePod 2 or the HomePod Mini, the last person who would add an old-fashioned radio to the mix. we thought it would be interesting to take the plunge when we was given the chance to review the new Ruark R1S. After all, the company’s tech has been well received by past and present coworkers, and Ruark’s devices have a simple design that we like.

Ruark R1S: Pros and Cons


  • Superb design
  • Excellent sound


  • Not as good as top streaming speakers
  • OKTIV is slower than service-specific apps

Specification Table

DimensionsH175 × W130 × D135mm
ColoursMid, Grey and walnut
Official linkVisit Website

Ruark R1S: Design

Ruark R1S review

One of the best things about the R1S is how it looks. Ruark has passed the first test of making the R1S feel like a stylish piece of equipment that someone would want on their desk or bedside table and feel like it goes with their decor. The wooden panels give the R1S a classic look without being so big that they take away from its surroundings. The company logo sits proudly on a silver panel above the wooden panels. It’s all very precise, and it makes me wonder what a pair of Ruark headphones or earbuds might look like if the company ever decided to branch out.

The only thing we don’t like about it is that the sides are gray. Even though not everyone will agree with me, we think the grey looks a little boring. Navy blue or even just a touch of silver would have been much better. The front of the R1S has the same 2.5-inch OLED display as the Ruark R1 Mk4.

Even though the screen looks small, it’s still big enough to show important information like the time, the app you are using, and the band/track name of the song that’s playing without making you squint. When you look at the screen straight on, the information is bright and easy to read, but the viewing angle is not very good. If you have the R1S on a nightstand, I’d suggest turning the screen so that it faces you.

Ruark R1S: Features

Ruark R1S review

The Ruark R1S is a small, stylish radio for your table that has a lot of great features. The R1S adds a touch of class to any room with its clean lines and attention to detail. The sound quality of the R1S is something that stands out. Even though it’s small, the sound is clear and well-balanced, with deep bass and clear highs. This makes it a great choice for listening to your favorite radio stations or streaming music from devices that support Bluetooth. The R1S gives you many ways to listen to music. It comes with a DAB/DAB+ digital radio tuner, which lets you listen to a wide variety of digital radio stations with better sound and more information.

It also has an FM tuner so you can listen to traditional analog radio. Also, the R1S can connect to Bluetooth, which lets smartphones, tablets, or computers stream music wirelessly. This makes it easy to listen to music from your own library or from popular music streaming services. The R1S is easy to use because it has a simple and easy-to-understand interface. It has a clear, easy-to-read OLED display that shows things like the name of the station, the name of the song, and the settings.

The RotoDial control system makes it easy to move through menus and settings. This makes it easy for people of all ages to use. The R1S was also made to be as easy to use as possible. It has a built-in alarm clock with different settings, such as dual alarms and a sleep timer. It also has a headphone output so you can listen privately. The R1S can be powered by the AC adapter that comes with it or an optional battery pack. This makes it easy to move around and use in different places.

Ruark R1S: Sound Quality

When it comes to DAB+ and internet radio, the sound is hard to fault. When listening to a mix of rock, pop, and jazz, it’s amazing how much presence and power you can get out of a small wooden box with a single driver. we heard more clear bass from the Revo SuperConnect Stereo, but it’s still lively and warm, and there’s a nice depth of tone and clarity elsewhere. Even at low volumes, the dynamics and textures of small group jazz sound great, while aggressively produced pop and rock songs also sound great with a bit more volume.

We were also impressed by how well the R1S handled classical music, even when it was complicated and had a lot of instruments. It also made dramas and factual shows on Radio 4 sound rich and authoritative. This little radio can listen to both DAB+ and internet sources. We weren’t sure at first how well the R1S would work with music streaming services, but after a little EQ tweaking and giving the sound some time to settle, we think it’s more than good enough.

On Amazon Music, the bass can get a little too loud, so you might want to turn down the EQ a bit. There’s a lot of detail, though, and the sound is bigger than you might think. We used the R1S instead of my usual Sonos Play:1 for a few days, and while the Sonos sounds deeper and richer, the R1S never did itself any harm. Almost any style of music will make it sound full and lively.

Ruark R1S: Performance

Ruark R1S review

The Ruark R1S tabletop radio packs a lot of performance into a small size. Even though the R1S is small, it has a sound quality that is better than expected. The sound is well-balanced, with clear vocals, clear instrumentals, and a bass response that is surprisingly strong. The R1S gives you a rich and immersive listening experience, whether you’re listening to your favorite radio stations or streaming music via Bluetooth.

One of the best things about the R1S is that it can listen to both FM analog radio and DAB/DAB+ digital radio. The DAB/DAB+ reception is reliable and gives you access to a wide range of digital stations with better sound quality and extra information like song titles and artist names. The FM tuner works with traditional radio broadcasts, so you can listen to your favorite stations no matter what type of transmission they use.

The R1S works well in many ways, including how it connects to other devices. With Bluetooth, you can easily stream music wirelessly from any device that works with it. It’s easy to connect two Bluetooth devices, and once they’re connected, the audio transmission is stable, so streaming is smooth.

The R1S is easy to use because it has simple controls and an easy-to-understand interface. The OLED screen is easy to see and read, so you can get important information at a glance. The RotoDial control system makes it easy to move through menus and settings, which improves the user experience as a whole. In addition, the R1S is made to be flexible and easy to use. It has an alarm clock built in with two alarms, a sleep timer, and a headphone jack for listening in private. The R1S is portable because you can use an optional battery pack to power it. This lets you listen to music anywhere you go.

Final Words

The Ruark R1S is a great choice if you want a small DAB radio and streaming speaker that fits on a bookcase. It looks great and sounds wonderful. Its only real competitor is the Revo SuperConnect, and both its mono and stereo versions are much more expensive. And while you could save money by buying the excellent Ruark R1 Mk4 that only has DAB+, I’d argue that the streaming and internet radio features are well worth the extra £60, especially if you live in an area with spotty DAB reception. In either case, the Ruark R1S is like the R1 Mk4 for internet and streaming radios. That’s all you can ask for.


Does Ruark r1 have a battery?

With its battery status display and better power management, the Ruark R1 Mk4 works even better and for longer with the BackPack 3. This means you can enjoy the R1’s rich performance when it’s plugged into a wall outlet even when there’s no wall outlet available.

Does Ruark r4i have Bluetooth?

R4 has aptX technology that works with Bluetooth so that you can stream music directly from devices that are compatible to R4 with CD-quality sound from up to 10 meters away.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing and reviewing products. Amy's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.
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The Ruark R1S costs and for that you get a compact bookshelf radio that looks pretty much identical to the beloved R1 Mk4, albeit in a pretty cool slate gray unit instead of the light cream or espresso of the existing model. It measures 130 x 135 x 175 mm (WDH) and weighs a reassuring 1.5 kg without the optional BackPack 3 battery.Ruark R1S review (2023) a high quality bookshelf speaker