Arcam rCube: It's Just A Cube, Right?

So you’ve got that iPod (or two or three), right? Maybe you’ve got the iPad too. Okay, I’ll confess. I have all of Apple’s products, or they’re at least on my wish list. We all know Apple designs their products to look great and perform at a level beyond comparison, but how do you put them to the test? What I’m trying to get at is, what’s out there that makes your iDevice scream, “I’m the best thing that’s happened since the Internet!”? After spending a little time with Arcam’s rCube, a box of true sonic awesome, I’m convinced I’ve found the way to win over my iPod’s heart. 

It’s just a cube, right?

Wrong. The rCube is much more than a simple 8” cube. Surrounded on all sides by a mesh-like fabric, I approached the rCube in the Gramophone showroom not really expecting to be blown away. With its minimalist design, the rCube doesn’t really catch my eye, nor would it have drawn my attention if I didn’t hear music coming from its general direction. As I got closer to the rCube, I realized that music wasn’t just floating around the showroom, it was coming from something. That something was the rCube.

I was first surprised to find out that the rCube wasn’t playing music directly from an iPod. Although the rCube has a built-in dock that charges your iPod or iPhone and allows for easy playback, I didn’t see an iPod in front of me. Instead, I found out that the rCube has a few little accessories that allow for wireless streaming from different electronic devices. The accessory that I first learned about was the rWand. About a thick as the iPod Nano and smaller than a thumb drive, the rWand connects to the docking port of your iDevice. After syncing the rWand to the rCube, you’re free to roam around your home (even go up or down a flight of stairs) and still remain in control of your iPod’s song playback or volume.

I also learned about the rWave. Similar to the idea behind the rWand, the rWave easily slips into your computer’s USB port and allows for you to stream your tunes from your music library or even play music online straight to the rCube. Now, instead of having to take your iPod with you around the house, you can simply unplug the portable rCube and have music with you wherever you go. And don’t worry about the battery dying- the eight hours of continuous playback is enough for any party/cookout/jam session with guys.

Sound Quality

As I said before, I wasn’t really expecting to get amazing sound from the rCube. After all, it’s not a full, blown-out sound system. But I was wrong to think of it as any other docking station. Instead of forcing out music, the rCube seems to effortlessly emit sound. And unlike other iPod docks, the sound coming from the rCube doesn’t sit in front of the speakers. Situated with speakers on the side panels, the rCube guarantees that no matter where you’re standing, whether your off to the side or directly in the center, you’ll experience phenomenal sound. 


Integrating the Cube

It’s important to mention that the rCube is unique because it doesn’t try to make your other electronics obsolete. With an “upgrade” button located on the back of the device, it’s easy to find a way to make your rCube a part of your sound system. Better yet, the “video” output option allows you to stream photos or videos that are stored on your iPod or iPhone directly to your television for high quality viewing while taking advantage the rCube’s unbeatable sound reproduction. And there’s always the option to use the rCube as the audio output for a movie you’re watching on your iPad. Simply use the rWand to wirelessly sync both of your devices. 

I’m overall really impressed by this little box! (So remember, it’s not just a cube.) Visit a Gramophone showroom in Timonium or Columbia to see the rCube for yourself!