Design? Stylish. Components? Hi-tech. Sounds? Great. Sounds great, right? Vita Audio, a UK-based audio company, has released two premium all-in-one stereo systems that are sure to get your visual and aural attention – the R4 and the R2i.
The big brother of the line-up, the R4 aims to replace any existing audio solution in your home. It’s got a multi-format CD player, iPod dock, USB playback, DAB/FM tuner and auxiliary inputs – all outputting at 80 watts.
As a premium product, it’s stacked with high-end features. The slot-loading (awesome) CD player lets you listen to audio CDs, MP3s and WMA discs, while the radio not only supports DAB and FM, but the new DAB+ standard.
The real jaw-dropper, however, is the RotoDial. Sitting atop the player, it’s the universal way to control the system. If you’d rather skip songs without getting out your chair, however, simply pull it off the top and it’ll work as a remote control. Use it to navigate through music on your docked iPod, for instance, or switch between audio inputs.
Or just put it on a chair’s arm to look cool – the aesthetics are really nice. Of course, what else would you expect from a device that’s colour options are “Rich Walnut veneer, Dream White and Midnight Black”?
The remote is just one of the many nice touches that make the R4 a really well-put together piece. Another is the gold-plating on the two auxiliary inputs, or the way the system stores headphone volume separately from speaker volume, so you needn’t worry about blasting your eardrums when you plug in a headset.
Just like the R4, the R2i’s cabinet is machined and hand-crafted from high density fibreboard, giving the system excellent acoustic properties. It’s also got DAB+, a line-in for MP3 players, an iPod Dock and some auxiliary ports.
What it’s missing, then, is its bigger brother’s CD player, USB playback and massive output – the R2i pumps out a much smaller 20 watts.
The plans for the remote control are also scaled down. The RotoDial still exists, but it’s fixed to the stereo. For remote control duties, you’ll have to make do with a slim-line extra controller. Sure, it’s not ugly, but the wow of the detachable RotoDial is definitely missing. The R2i is cute, and much cheaper, but is nowhere near as awe-inspiring as its older brother.