Ruark Tempo review: A radio with unique appeal
Ruark Radio stands out as one of the most popular high-end radio companies in the UK.
This isn’t a brand that you’ll consider if you’re looking for a basic DAB experience for a low price. Ruark radios will usually set you back hundreds of pounds per product – and that’s for some of their more entry-level radio sets.
If, however, you’re searching for the perfect combination of beauty, style, and customisable audio, then a Ruark audio radio may be well worth the cost.
We’ve had an opportunity to look at some of the leading Ruark radios, including the R2 and R1. Ruark has a habit of releasing only a handful of products in its portfolio at a time – which helps to maintain the brand’s reputation of exclusivity.
One of the more recent products in the Ruark lineup came from a collaboration with a leading furniture maker, LINLEY. The Tempo radio by LINLEY and Ruark is a stylish radio, similar in appearance to the R1 Deluxe.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Ruark Tempo review: Design and build
Virtually every radio available from Ruark is designed to deliver the perfect blend of form and function. The Tempo radio mimics the style of the Ruark Audio R1 – to an extent.
The main difference is that it also has its own unique appeal to it. The radio has been custom-made using a combination of Ruark’s signature audio engineering, and LINLEY’s next-level style.
Available in a range of modern colours, from Beret, to Monday, or “Black Tie”, the Tempo radio is exclusively sold by the LINLEY store. That means that that the impressively individual style of each radio becomes even more special when you see it in person.
Since David Linley, the artist behind the LINLEY furniture brand, has a unique passion for wood and carpentry, the majority of the Tempo radio is made from wood.
Although it’s not just a plain wooden surround like you’d see elsewhere in the Ruark portfolio. You get a unique sunburst shape of different textures and colours on every device.
Each colour scheme comes with a carefully curated marquetry inlay, all with a selection of different veneers, from figured sycamore, to birch, ash, and bolivar wood.
The unique design of the Ruark Tempo radio doesn’t just enhance the appearance of any room it appears in. The wooden surround also helps to support the unique reverberation of the DAB radio Ruark design, allowing for deeper, more amazing sounds.
Petite, but powerful, this is a radio designed to be so much more than a source of music. The Ruark Tempo radio was created as the centre piece of your home’s interior design strategy.
Ruark Tempo review: Features
From a feature-focused perspective, this Ruark DAB radio is very similar to the Ruark R1 MK3.
Alongside a unique design from LINLEY, you can also expect Ruark’s signature sound, and a high-quality OLED screen, where you can skip through the music you want to listen to with ease.
The great thing about the Ruark LINLEY radio, is that although it appears very sophisticated at first glance – like a piece of functional art – it’s still very easy to use.
Every part of this radio has been designed to give you a sensational listening experience, from the high-quality Bluetooth receiver to the headphone socket for private listening.
If you want to stream your own content through something more conventional than a Bluetooth frequency, the Ruark Tempo also supports an aux-in port as well.
Additionally, for those who want to place their Ruark Tempo in centre view within a bedroom or living room, there’s a USB port where you can charge your phones and devices on the go.
The only problem? For the price you’re going to pay, the Ruark Tempo is pretty basic.
If you felt as though you weren’t getting your money’s worth functionality-wise with the Ruark R1, then you’re really going to be overwhelmed by the cost of the Tempo, which starts at around £1,295.
For such a small and simple device, it’s easy to wonder what you’re actually getting for your money, aside from an admittedly stunning design.
- DAB, DAB+ and FM radio
- OLED screen with adjustable brightness
- High-performance Bluetooth receiver
- USB charging port for compatible devices
- Time display and multiple alarm-settings
- UK engineering
- Sensational award-winning audio
- Aux-in and headphone port
There’s no internet radio included, no option to access content from a USB drive, and no CD player, like you get with the Ruark R5. What you’re paying for here, above all else – is a piece of art. It just so happens that you get a radio thrown in.
Ruark Tempo review: Performance
So, if the Ruark Tempo radio is more about form than function, what does that mean for the quality of the audio you’re going to get?
Well, the good news is that Ruark never compromises on sound.
Just because you’re getting a pretty face with the Tempo radio, doesn’t mean that you can’t expect the same sensational quality that you would get from any Ruark audio radio.
The Tempo is designed to be a radio that you can treasure and fall in love with for years to come.
It would be difficult to form that kind of relationship with a radio that doesn’t deliver excellent sound quality. Fortunately, the clean and robust sound of Ruark audio is second to none.
Ruark’s Tempo model also comes with the ease-of-use that today’s customers want too – including an easy-to-use programmable alarm with separate weekend and weekday settings.
Though we personally wouldn’t want to keep something this stunning tucked away in a bedroom, there’s nothing stopping you from using it as a bedside radio.
Well, in our opinion, it’s truly magnificent. Beautiful to behold, wonderful to use, and packed with sound that’s clear enough to bring a tear to your eye.
Unfortunately, unless you happen to be a millionaire, you probably won’t be able to justify spending over £1,000 on this compact radio.
This is the kind of product you buy your radio-loving spouse for your fifty-year wedding anniversary.
It’s not the sort of radio that you’re going to grab from Amazon when you need something to listen to when you’re tidying the kitchen.
Is the Ruark Tempo radio amazing? You bet.
Unfortunately, like a lot of masterpieces, it’s just not accessible for most.