BBC Music Magazine Best Buy

Best all-round

Ruark Audio R3 £629


Ruark makes superb standalone sound systems and I’ve yet to hear one of their products I wouldn’t happily have in my own home. While the latest model also features a CD player and Wi-Fi streaming, this is their first Smart Radio system (see below), which means it has FM with RDS (87.5-108MHz), DAB/DAB+ and access to countless internet radio stations, all played through a precisely tuned 30W analogue class AB amplifier and two neodymium NS+ drivers.

If you want to listen to music from the heart of Vienna or tune into Russia’s only classical music station, Orpheus Radio, this is the system to find them on, and with its room-filling, intensely enjoyable performance, it’s the best way to do them justice. Each radio service comes with 10 presets, so you only have to find your favourite internet stations once, plus you can stream from leading digital services including Spotify Connect and Tidal. In fact, there’s very little digital music this beautiful box of tricks can’t play.


Best mid-range

Revo SuperSignal £199

At the other end of the design spectrum, Revo’s executive-style SuperSignal is made from walnut and anodised aluminium, and despite its compact dimensions, it has the heft of a bookshelf speaker. That explains how the volume can go so high without a hint of distortion. As you may expect, it packs in DAB/DAB+ and FM, plus Bluetooth aptX which allows CD-quality streaming with compatible devices. There are multiple alarms too, making it ideal for your bedside table.


Best value

Roberts Rambler BT £89


Maybe age is creeping up on me, but I’m smitten by Roberts’s 1970s-style radio with its wooden case, metal grille and durable leather handle. It’s gorgeous, looks great in my kitchen and with FM, DAB/DAB+ and the convenience of Bluetooth for streaming podcasts from your smartphone, plus battery, it’s anything but vintage. Radio 3’s Breakfast sings out with impressive clarity.



Chris HaslamAudio and Tech Specialist, BBC Music Magazine

Chris Haslam is a freelance consumer technology journalist, specialising in tech, audio, lifestyle, health and interiors. He is the monthly audio columnist for BBC Music Magazine, rounding up the best audio equipment on the market for classical music lovers. He is also a contributing editor for Wired UK.