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The mid-sized R2i is a handsome unit indeed. It has a low, compact shape, with an iPod dock and control knob and buttons on the top, leaving its front face clean and uncluttered.
Set in the brushed metal front, you'll find two speaker grilles, an LCD, a power button, a 3.5mm audio jack and aux-in for non-Apple MP3 players — you'll find gold-plated phono sockets on the back for connecting an external recording unit, or TV or computer.
Our review unit was housed in a classic walnut veneer chassis, but it's also available in high-gloss Dream White or Midnight Black.
On the back is where you screw in the aerial, which means it might be difficult to use the R2i as a radio player if you have it placed on a bookcase.
It also comes with a little plastic remote, which, in sharp contrast to the speaker itself, feels cheap and flimsy, made of light plastic with blister buttons.
The R2i really is a bit of a jill of all trades. It has the aforementioned iPhone/iPod dock, of course, which fits all generations of iPod from 2004 — we tested it with the 2005 iPod Video, the 2010 iPod Touch and the 2011 iPhone 4G, and all worked perfectly.
In addition is its ability to function as a speaker for all MP3 players via the front aux-in, which we tested with the Creative Zen X-Fi Style.
It also functions as a DAB, DAB+ and FM radio; it can be plugged in to your telly or computer for a sound boost; can be plugged into an external recording system or amplifier; and it can even operate as an alarm clock radio.