Over the last couple of years if a customer asked for inexpensive desktop speakers, our recommendation had always been the brilliant Ruark MR1 speakers. These compact speakers were fantastic value for money and could not be bettered for the price. The MR1 desktop Bluetooth speakers are now four years old, so Ruark has decided to update them and here we will review the new MR1 MKII.
The drivers are the same as before, but Ruark has made changes to the crossover to help give the MK2 version a bigger more open sound. Style wise Ruark have done away with the removable grilles of the MK1s and in their place is a fixed version. There is no denying that the appearance and quality of finish is a marked improvement over the Mk1s.
The MR1 Mk2 are a two-way bass reflex speaker system utilising a 20mm treated textile dome tweeter and a 75mm long throw bass driver, with a powerful neodymium magnet. The MR1s have a built in 20W Class A-B linear amplifier incorporating a high quality switch mode power supply.
The MR1 Mk2s now have an optical input so you can connect external devices such as your TV or Chromecast Audio etc, to improve the sound. They also offer apt-X Bluetooth for CD-quality streaming from compatible devices (Laptops, Phones, some TVs etc) and an analogue input for connecting a turntable.
To complete the package and to offer a great upgrade path they also have a subwoofer output for connection to an active subwoofer.
The Mk2 Speakers provide a sound quality and scale that belies their price and size. We listened to a variety of music from Ella and Louie singing “Summertime” to more testing music from the likes of M83s “Hurry up we're dreaming” and the Mk2s never skipped a beat. The performance was superb without any hint of boxiness and the bass extension was deeper than expected for such a compact design. These speakers may not be able to fill a large room but if required you could partner them with an external powered subwoofer to provide a great compact speaker solution.
The MR1 Mk2s are available in Rich Walnut and Soft Grey Lacquer finishes. An optional BackPack II power pack is available to free the MR1 Mk2 from the shackles of mains power (the slave speaker can be removed completely for ease of portability).
We have them on active demonstration in store, so please come by and have a listen.
Ruark Audio products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford,
Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon