Simple design with powerful sound from the Ruark R3

The R3 is a compact super-system from the British audio designer

Ruark R3 against a beige background
(Image credit: ruarkaudio)

These days, music comes at us from all directions. But there’s no point in pining for the simplicity of a CD when you have something that blends every conceivable format and service into a single stylish box.

The Ruark R3 is one such device, an audio ‘platform’ designed to accommodate streaming services, analogue, digital and internet radio, WiFi connectivity to modern TVs and Smart Home set-ups along with that increasingly rare beast, an integral CD player. You can also connect it up to any other traditional Hi-Fi equipment such as turntables, tape decks and DATs using the auxiliary connector. 

The Ruark R3 analogue, digital and internet radio device

(Image credit: ruarkaudio)

The necessary cluster of connections at the rear of the R3 is countered by a minimalist front fascia, with a screen and CD slot set amidst a traditional fabric-covered front that conceals the device’s stereo speaker set. The British company’s ‘RotoDial’ is mounted on top and there’s also a remote control. All this is squeezed into a softly curved cabinet – either finished in grey lacquer or walnut veneer, small enough to be moved around without any hassle and powerful enough to fill a room.

As a box that ticks boxes, the R3 is unrivaled, and sounds pretty good to boot.

Ruark R3, £629,

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.