ERT Awards Supporting Information

Best New Product – Consumer Electronics

Ruark Audio – R1 Mk4

Overview

The leading purveyor of stylish standalone sound systems, Ruark Audio, launched its most desirable product to date with the latest incarnation of its iconic R1 DAB/Bluetooth radio. An evolution of the original model, the new design sees a more progressive style available in Light Cream and Espresso finishes, including a hand-crafted slatted wood grille. Ruark believes everyone deserves good design in their lives and the R1’s simple yet eye-catching design conceals state-of-the-art technology and connectivity. The R1 Mk4 sets new standards for sound and features, building on nearly four decades of high-end hi-fi know-how. The R1 includes an OLED display screen, a quality Bluetooth receiver, USB-C charge and playback port, switchable auxiliary input and headphone output.

Continuous improvement

With the MK4, Ruark wanted to build on the strengths and much-loved features of the previous generations of the R1 radio. It retains the same size and format as the original model from 2006, but the design is now even more refined. It borrows some 1960s and 1970s chic and blends it with a fresh, modern, and distinctive look, with solid wood grilles and subtle colours. Adaptive screen brightness means the display is never too bright or not bright enough; the new neodymium driver and analogue amplifier give it unparalleled audio performance; new features tailored to a worldwide market give it global appeal; and improved overall quality and reliability showcase our commitment to the art of continuous improvement.

More sustainable packaging

The outer carton is now unbleached brown card and the company replaced the inner polystyrene inserts with paper pulp trays and a card accessories box. All Ruark’s paper and card packaging materials, including that used for the user guide, are made from FFC certified sources and really easy to recycle. Changing to paper pulp trays was a challenge as it behaves differently from polystyrene in how it protects a product during transit. Paper pulp is also slightly abrasive so what seemed like a simple change, actually took a concerted effort to bring to fruition. Ruark also optimised the exact size of the product and shipping cartons for loading onto pallets so to maximise fuel efficiency during shipping, and to reduce potential waste from damage in transit.

Increased serviceability

Ruark doesn’t think a product should ever be thrown away just because a small part has failed which is why the company designed the R1 MK4 from day one to be really simple to disassemble and repair so replacing any component is quick and cost-effective.