MRx: Ruark Audio’s First Connected Wireless Multi-Room Speaker

MRx – the first connected wireless speaker from British company Ruark Audio is set to debut in May or June this year | Here we review its features and specifications to see if the £400 price tag is justified

MRx: Ruark Audio’s First Connected Wireless Multi-Room Speaker

Family-owned British company Ruark Audio has been rolling out premium audio systems ever since its inception in 1986.

Having enjoyed great success with the MR1 Mk2 wireless speakers and the all-in-one R2 Mk3 system, the Essex-based company is now ready with its first wirelessly connected speaker – the MRx.

While it’s a perfect stand-alone device capable of producing high-quality audio output all on its own – perfect for your lounge, kitchen or study, as Ruark sees it – the MRx can also double up as part of a connected, wireless multi-room system to produce high-fidelity synched sound in any room you like.

It works perfectly well with the company’s R2 Mk3 and R7 Mk3, as well as other MRx speakers to give you a top-class connected home audio system.

The MRx promises an effortless and high-quality wireless streaming experience with an impressive range of options.

In so far as connectivity is concerned, the MRx can effortlessly access internet radio, as well as a virtually inexhaustible cache of music via online streaming companies like Spotify, Deezer, and Tidal, with Amazon Music also set to join the fray, hopefully in the not too distant future.

The onboard internet radio tuner not only allows you near-unlimited access to radio stations from wherever in the world you are using your MRx, but it also makes easy work of accessing podcasts and TVCatchups, particularly BBC programs.

Just in case you’re not familiar with TVCatchup, it is an online cable service within the U.K. that retransmits already-aired BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, and ITV programs.

The catch-up service can be reached from your desktop browser, and even you’re your smartphone and tab apps.

In the absence of internet connectivity, or by choice, the aptX-integrated Bluetooth receiver also allows you to connect directly to compatible devices for that CD quality sound.

The MRx, however, does not keep you restricted to just wireless connectivity. So, if plugging in directly is your kind of thing, the combined 3.5mm line-in and digital optical input will allow you to connect a turntable, Amazon Dot, Google Chromecast or Apple AirPort Express, claims the company website.

Not only that, wired internet access has also been made possible with the inclusion of an Ethernet jack – a particularly handy option when your WiFi signal from your home router is intermittent or weak.

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Additionally, the inclusion of a multi-purpose USB port allows users the flexibility to charge their smartphones and even playback music from storage devices like memory sticks and portable hard drives.

What’s more is that the multi-room capability of these inputs allows you to wirelessly stream audio to other MRx, R2 Mk3 or R7 Mk3 units that together make up your multi-room system.

Wait, there’s more! With the MRx, you can also go ahead and stream stored music from other networked systems, and from your smartphone, as well. How cool is that!

MRx owes its unparalleled high-fidelity performance to the award-winning MR1 Mk2’s driver technology, which has been incorporated in the new speaker using, what the company describes as, a new kind of cone and coil assembly that combine with a highly potent neodymium magnet system.

“These drivers are mounted as a stereo pair into tuned bass reflex enclosures and powered by a high-fidelity two-channel Class A-B amplifier. Using the latest sound processing technology, we have further finely tuned the sound and have created a stereo soundstage that belies the MRx compact dimensions,” claims Ruark on its website.

While the onboard controller on the front of the MRx allows you to control the volume and audio source, an Android- and iOs-dedicated app called “Link” gives you full remote access to all MRx functionalities, in addition to providing details of the source material you are listening to.

The Ruark Link app also serves the purpose of creating and managing groups in scenarios where multiple MRx devices are being wirelessly connected for a multi-room experience.

Furthermore, the app also allows you to control the R2 Mk3 and R7 Mk3, which are compatible devices, as mentioned earlier.

According to the company, a Link-dedicated webpage detailing the app’s features will be up soon.

Not only can you use the MRx in both vertical and horizontal orientations, threaded inserts provided on the rear of the unit allows you to wall-mount the speaker, as well, if that’s how you prefer to set it up.

Plus, a four-way switch on the rear panel provides you the flexibility of using a single MRx unit, both, as a mono as well as a stereo speaker. Or, you can use two MRx speakers to pair them for a combined stereo unit.

Ruark has not only channeled its ingenuity, gained through years of producing some top-of-the-line audio products, in making the new MRx a class high-fidelity audio device but has also used its deep understanding of design to make the MRx an aesthetically pleasing product as well.

Now, whether the £399.99 (approx. $564) price tag is justified or not is purely subjective. For some, the price may well be worth the features on offer, while others may not find it worth their whiles to invest that kind of money on it.

Here’s a quick re-cap of the key specs of the MRx to help you in your decision.

  • Ruark Audio 75 mm full-range driver with powerful neodymium magnet system
  • Linear Class A-B Amplifier, with 20 watts nominal output
  • Enhanced 3D stereo audio
  • Internet receiver (tuner) gives global access to more than 30,000 stations as well as podcasts
  • Wireless DLNA audio streaming from networked storage devices and PCs
  • Bluetooth V4.0, SBC, AAC, A2DP and aptX enabled audio receiver
  • Spotify Connect provides seamless integration with the Spotify app and access to more than 20 million tracks
  • Also compatible with Deezer and Tidal, with Amazon Music support to be made available soon
  • Combined 3.5mm analog and optical input to connect other audio devices
  • Anodized aluminum stand
  • 100-240VAC, Hz input, 14VDC 2.0A output
  • Horizontal/Landscape dimensions: 180mm x 300mm x 180mm (H x W x D)
  • Vertical/Portrait dimensions: 320mm x 160mm x 180mm (H x W x D)
  • Weight: 3.4 kg (2.20 pounds)
  • Price: £399.99 ($564 approx)

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