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Ruark Audio MR1 Bluetooth speaker system review: Wired or wireless, these little speakers will rock your world

Michael Brown | Aug. 17, 2015
Ruark is the latest high-end speaker manufacturer to apply its advanced design prowess to the mass market. The company is targeting the high end of the market to be sure, but $500 is a reasonable price to pay for speakers of this quality.

I'll wrap this up with a discussion of the MR1's Bluetooth capabilities. It supports the Bluetooth A2DP profile; more importantly, it also supports the high-quality AptX audio codec. You can pair up to eight Bluetooth devices with the MR1, but only one device can stream music to the speaker at once. It paired quickly and easily with my HTC One smartphone as well as an iPod touch. I streamed Bruce Cockburn's contemplative "Isn't That What Friends Are For?" from his 1999 album Breakfast in New Orleans Dinner in Timbuktu, among other tracks stored on my mobile devices, over a Bluetooth connection. That technology will never deliver the fidelity of a hardwired connection, but I didn't find the quality loss to be especially onerous. Cockburn's voice and guitar work--and Lucinda Williams' achingly beautiful backup vocals--sounded terrific on the MR1.

These are phenomenal speakers

Yes, $500 is a lot of cash to spend on speakers. And yes, the MR1 Bluetooth speaker system earns its $500 price tag. They're a step up in audio quality--and especially in amplifier power--from Bowers & Wilkin's excellent MM-1, even though Ruark's speakers lack USB audio support. They're also attractively designed, if a little large for using on your desk on either side of your monitor (especially if you rock a multi-monitor setup). The MR-1 is a sweet speaker system whether you're using it for near-field monitoring or looking to fill a moderately sized room with sound. I dig it.


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