When it was launched two years ago, the Vita Audio R4 redefined the all-in-one iPod dock  sound system. And how. With its no compromise approach to deep, full bass and crisp midrange, its CD/iPod/DAB combination was the first serious ‘sayonara separates’ launch – at least for those who cared about stuff like, well, how music sounded.

But it was also sayonara £549 quid.

Still, once seen (and heard) this walnut-wrapped beauty was hard to dismiss. So we were more than happy when the R2i (£251 -pic left) came out last year – as were What HiFI, awarding it their ultimate accolade: a gilt edged 5 star review. A compact hi-fi system and cleverly designed iPod dock (with a nifty ‘roto-dial’ controller), the R2i’s 3D sound processing mode magically created a broader soundstage than you’d expect for a micro system.  There are other iPod docks – some screaming for your attention with their over-designed outlines but, trust us, if you’re after a smooth, rich and compact player (and who isn’t) Vita Audio are the ones to beat.

Vita Audio R1 Mk2And this month it’s set to release its R1 Mk2, (£159.99) a portable DAB, DAB+ (if and when that arrives) and FM radio, again with a wooden case (for rich, warm fidelity) and swanky leather carry case. Picnics never sounded better. They’re set to hit stores in early August.

John Lewis
Liverpool ONE