Technology

Ruark Audio launches stylish R1 Mk4 DAB radio, survey says tuning in aids mental health

Proving radio never goes out of style, Ruark Audio has released a fetching new contemporary version of its best-selling R1 DAB/Bluetooth radio. 

This iteration adopts a more progressive style than its predecessors. The original R1 wood cabinet, introduced on the first model 14 years ago, has been replaced with a new moulded enclosure, and cosmetic finishes. The Mk4 debuts in a choice of Light Cream and Espresso finishes. Adding a touch of Scandi-flair is a hand-crafted slatted wood grille.

The British lifestyle Hi-Fi manufacturer’s familiar RotoDial control system remains though, with a compact remote control available as an optional extra

The R1 features an OLED display which ensures time, alarm and programme information is crisp and clear, and auto adjusts to suit ambient light levels. Naturally, there’s a Bluetooth receiver for easy streaming from your smartphone, a convenient USB-C charge and playback port, plus switchable auxiliary input and a headphone output.

A real time clock is built in, so time and date are kept live when power is disconnected or when transmitted data is not available. 

Of course, Ruark is renowned for its audio prowess, as well as its interiors-friendly design. The R1 Mk4 combines the brand’s  linear amplifier with a proprietary NS+ driver and adaptive equalisation. So it should certainly sound punchy.

The original R1 wood cabinet, introduced on the first model 14 years ago, has been replaced with a new moulded enclosure, and cosmetic finishes…

The launch of the R1 Mk4 coincides with the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. The UK now has 54 national digital stations, and hundreds more local stations.

New research commissioned by Ruark Audio, reveals just how relevant radio remains to listeners. 

47 per cent of those polled say they are listening to more radio during the pandemic, with 84 per cent agreeing that listening to radio or podcasts was good for their mental health. Almost a third said they prefer listening to the radio over watching TV or streaming services.

Three quarters of those surveyed said that they find radio a comfort in times of crisis. When asked why, 55 percent said music lifts their spirits, 48 percent find background noise comforting, and 47 percent listen for the company.

22 percent said that they find hearing voices on the radio to be particularly calming, and one in five said that it gives them a different perspective on life. The study also found that seven in ten people find it easier to take in information from radio or podcasts, rather than watching videos.

“As this study shows, radio is more important than ever to listeners and that’s why almost 90 per cent of us in the UK listen every week,” notes Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK. “During the pandemic, all generations have turned to radio as a key source of national and local news, information, music, entertainment, and companionship.”

The Ruark R1 Mk4 is available now, and sells for £229.

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