We recently looked at the Vita Audio R1, which is a single speaker desktop DAB radio, and we found it to be simply without equal for sound quality when compared to other devices of its size. However, there was no denying its diddy proportions and use of a single speaker limited its maximum volume and also resulted in more intricate and dynamic music getting a little muddled. So, it's no surprise that Vita Audio has bulked out its range with the R2 to cater for those that require a bit more oomph from their desktop radio.
At its core then, the Vita audio R2 is simply a larger, stereo version of the R1 so it has both DAB and FM radio tuners, two front mounted sockets for plugging in headphones and external music sources, and the same superb build and sound quality. However, there's also a few bonus additions thrown in that make the extra £60-£90 for the R2 that much more of a digestible price hike.
First and foremost, is the addition of a cute little Infra Red (IR) remote control. The second bonus is the inclusion of a second line-input, which can be used to plug-in and amplify your mp3 player or any other additional audio source. The third and final supplement is a number of equaliser settings, including a 3D wide stereo sound, that enable you to adjust the tonal quality of the R2 to suit your preference.
The model we've received for review is the Ivory white lacquered version, which actually demands a £30 premium over the otherwise identical wood veneered model, costing as it does £249.99. Having seen the superb quality of the walnut veneer used on the R1 we reviewed, the idea of paying a premium for a shiny version of either model does seem a bit galling - lovely though the finish is. One simply has to assume the lacquering process costs more to do and this cost has to be passed onto the buyer to keep the product profitable. What is without doubt though is the design and construction of the R2 lends it a commanding air that immediately puts you in mind of a quality product.
The drivers in the R2 are the same 3.5inch ones used in the R1 so, in case you were wondering, the R2 isn't any taller than the R1, indeed it is considerably shorter as the LCD display and jack sockets are mounted in-between the two speakers as opposed to above. The exact dimensions are 340mm x 170mm x 120mm (W.D.H) so it has a fairly considerable footprint that means it will be a little large for many people's bedside tables and may struggle to tuck-in between the toaster and kettle in your kitchen.