Ruark Audio -
Connected Active Speaker System in Grey.

What is the Ruark MRX?
There are few things in life that are as certain as the quality of a Ruark product.
For years, the company has proved itself with excellent DAB radios, Bluetooth speakers and all-in-one CD plus speaker-type devices.
Now it’s time for a music-streaming speaker:
Meet the Ruark MRX.

This is Ruark embracing the online generation, although the device doesn’t disappoint when it comes to delivering all that you've grown to love – and expect – from the company.
The design is gorgeous, it’s easy to use, there’s an abundance of connections, and it sounds delightful.

Design and features -
You can tell a product is Ruark from a mile away.
It’s a look often imitated, but never replicated with panache.
There will be plenty of wood at the top, bottom and sides – a callback to the golden age of hi-fi – but made more contemporary with rounded edges.
There’s always a neat ‘Rotodial’ control scheme, usually a volume knob within a ring of buttons, in the case of the MRX, there’s just knob and it performs double-duty: rotate it for volume, press it for input selection.
The Ruark MRX is designed to switch orientations, either lying flat in stereo mode or standing up in mono.
There’s an input to switch sound modes, and the provided stand attaches in either orientation.

As for audio components, there are two 75mm full-range drivers, with a neodymium magnet system based on the one from the excellent Ruark MR1 Mk2.
There are also two small reflex ports at the rear for more efficient bass.

Connections on the rear of the unit includes a single socket to handle both 3.5mm and digital optical input (via a bundled adapter).
A USB port means you can play music from memory sticks, but it can also power a Chromecast or charge a phone.
Oh, and there’s a power socket for a mains adapter – this speaker isn’t battery powered or portable.
There’s aptX Bluetooth, which is generally better than regular Bluetooth because of higher data transfer rates.
There’s Ethernet or Wi-Fi for networked connections.
It has internet radio baked into it, plus DLNA for playing music from networked storage devices.
It also has Spotify, Tidal and Deezer, with Amazon Music to follow.

The app handles multiroom commands too.
Anything you play on the Ruark MRX – be it via Bluetooth or a USB stick – can be played on another networked Ruark MRX (or Ruark R2 Mk3 or Ruark R7 Mk3).
If you have two Ruark MRX units then you can use them in stereo configuration.

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Our Price $999.00


Landscape or portrait orientation
Stereo/mono/left/right selector switch
Anodised aluminium stand
2 × UNC ¼in inserts at 59mm centres on back panel for wall mounting
Standard Finishes - Rich Walnut veneer with silver alloy stand and lead grey fabric grille
Soft Grey lacquer with silver alloy stand and lead grey fabric grille
Power Adaptor - 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz input, 14VDC 2.0A output
Dimensions (including stand):
Landscape: H180 × W300 × D180mm
Portrait: H320 × W160 × D180mm
Weight - 3.4 Kg


Ruark MRX – Performance
Very occasionally I’ll listen to a product so good, so engaging, so musically infectious that I just end up listening at the expense of other things, such as taking notes for a review.
The Ruark MRX proved to be just such a product.
Every time I turn it on, it grabs my full attention.
It’s a realistic, convincing performance with the right balance of a few key ingredients: power, emotion and rhythmic precision.
There’s power on tap, but the MRX is capable of remarkable delicacy.
Once again, the company has managed to squeeze full-fat sound into a small and unassuming box.
We’re talking here about a proper hi-fi sound, with the full frequency range on display.
It’s a substantial sound with plenty going on between the highs and lows.
The bass is rich but firm, the mid-range clear and direct, and the treble is sweet.
You can adjust the balance in the EQ section of the app, but I never felt the need to move past the default.
The MRX is flexible with regards to placement, too, you can set it up near a wall without it sounding overwhelmingly boomy.
The Loudness mode is there to make lower frequencies more audible at low volumes, but it has the effect of compressing the dynamic range mode a little.
Turn that off, because the Ruark MRX has a lovely dynamic range, and it shouldn’t be squandered.
It can really articulate the differences between layers of low-level bass on the XX’s debut album.
It’s a big sound, too!
The Ruark MRX isn’t exactly a small box, but I’ve seen larger rivals struggle to fill the room.
What’s more, the MRX can happily reach loud volumes without straining.
The frequency range remains coherent, rather than sounding hollow or letting the low end overwhelm.
I definitely prefer the speaker in its horizontal position, on stereo mode, but if you’re short of space, it’s good vertical and in mono too.
You don’t get the left/right channels as such, but the speaker is good at separation and instruments don’t end up piled on top of one another.

Why buy the Ruark MRX?
The Ruark MRX sets an excellent example for speaker manufacturers going down the online music route.
It handles a bunch of popular streaming services, but doesn’t assume that you want to entirely abandon the tactile joys of older formats.
That variety of sources on offer helps to justify the price tag, as does the gorgeous design and enchanting sound.

Verdict - 5 Stars
A gorgeous and well-equipped streaming speaker for the home.
Trusted Reviews 2018