British audio company Ruark Audio has announced the third generation of its R7 modern radiogram. First launched in 2013, the new R7 has added functionalities like built-in Spotify Connect, and sports a slimmer cabinet with a minimalist front panel to make it appear more like a design object rather than audio equipment.
The R7 Mk3 builds on the original in both its tech and aesthetic. Harkening to mid-century modern design with spindle legs, it will be available in both walnut and a grey lacquer with a grille fabric covering the front and an optional TV mount. Its legs can also be removed so the R7 Mk3 can be mounted to an existing sideboard or AV cabinet.
It has bespoke stereo speaker units with both high and low frequency components combined into a single driver and supports a variety of sources, some more common than others. There's expected features, like CD, DAB/DAB+/FM, DLNA Wi-Fi, and the newly added Spotify Connect. But, it also supports aptX HD Bluetooth, which can handle end-to-end 24-bit audio, and delivers lower signal-to-noise ratio through the encode / decode cycle, as well as less distortion. For those still dedicated to the aux cord there are both digital and analogue inputs including a dedicated turntable port.
The R7 Mk3 is more like a design object than audio equipment
The R7 Mk3 also has a new multi-room capability so any source can also be streamed to its R2 music streaming system. It comes with Ruark’s RotoDial controller which is mirrored with a matching remote. The company says a control and browsing app is forthcoming for iOS and Android devices.
Radiograms (a portmanteau of radio and gramophone), were popular through the 1960s, but eventually became outmoded. Ruark’s revival of the piece, though, is not entirely surprising given recent trends toward embracing nostalgic technology. Sony recently announced it plans to start pressing vinyl again, and according to The NDP Group, turntable sales have also seen a double digit growth spurt in the past year.
The R7 Mk3 is slated to be available for purchase in October for £2,300 ($2,944).