Revo Super System: The Swiss Army Knife of Music Systems
We like to include unusual but great systems in our top-rated wireless speakers list. We became aware of the Revo Super System when a jazz aficionado we know asked us if we would recommend this system for his particular needs. He has spent years hunting down every jazz station are around the globe on traditional FM and now Internet radio and noticed the Revo had a full spectrum tools to do this. In addition, it also did a lot more, and wondered if this all-in-one music system was worth the luxury price?
We came to learn that Revo is another interesting UK audio company. Revo was originally founded in 2004 in Lanark, Scotland. Their first few products were designed around DAB (digital audio broadcast radio) – and included an adapter for car stereos, a portable player, and a home player. Within the next few years they shifted their focus to more fully featured modern music systems that include all the latest features and cutting edge modern design.
By 2012, they were winning product excellence awards in Scotland and the UK, their products were being sold in over 20 countries worldwide, including the Asia Pacific and Hong Kong, and one of their “multi-format table radios” had earned a permanent place in the “Shaping Our World” exhibit at the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.
In 2013 they updated their company image, with a new logo and a new “corporate identity”, but they continue to follow their tradition of designing and building what just may be the world’s most advanced and fully featured table radios aka, wireless audio system. We’re going to review their current top model, the Revo SuperSystem.
Revo Supersystem Comparison Table
One Player to Rule Them All
Imagine waking up a hundred years in the future. The bed makes itself, there’s a robot maid to get your breakfast, and sitting on the dresser is the table radio of the future. While the styling makes it recognizable as a music player, and the fine wood cabinet is actually sort of retro, the dial has been replaced with a futuristic display, and several rows of buttons arrayed across the front connect you to more different sources of music and entertainment than you thought existed. And, of course, it sounds superb. The Revo SuperSystem is a complete streaming and digital music system; it plays almost every form of radio and streaming content you can imagine – and does it ALL very well.
- Radio – The Revo SuperSystem supports both regular FM radio and DAB / DAB+ digital radio
- Internet Radio – The Revo SuperSystem gives you access to over 24,000 Internet stations.
- Network Audio – The Revo SuperSystem can stream music from your PC or Mac, or from a network attached music server using the popular DLNA format (with either a wired Ethernet or WiFi network connection).
- Bluetooth Audio – The Revo SuperSystem plays music streamed to it from your favorite
- Bluetooth device (and supports the latest Bluetooth AptX technology).
- USB Playback – The Revo SuperSystem can play music directly from a USB mass media device - including a USB stick (and, yes, it supports AAC, MP3, WAV, and FLAC files).
- Spotify Connect - The Revo SuperSystem supports Spotify Connect, for easy on-demand access to over 30 million music tracks.
- Direct Analog Input – The Revo SuperSystem also includes a standard analog input where you can connect all of your legacy music sources, including the analog output of an MP3 player or computer, or the output from your stereo system.
- Digital Optical Input – The Revo SuperSystem also sports a convenient Toslink optical digital input (which you can use to connect a computer, TV set, or preamp/processor).
What’s Inside The Revo SuperSystem?
Inside the Revo SuperSystem’s nice wooden cabinet you’ll find some impressive audio components. Behind the stylish aluminum front grille you’ll find a pair of advanced 3.5” flat diaphragm speakers, powered by an efficient 80 watt Class-D stereo amplifier. Low frequency performance is enhanced by a separate 6” downward-firing subwoofer, powered by its own 40 watt amplifier.
Revo doesn’t provide fancy DSP or a lot of detailed audio specifications for the SuperSystem, but we can tell you that it provides a powerful, dynamic, balanced sound, that can easily fill a typical bedroom or living room. If anything, because of its substantial size and power, the Revo SuperSystem may have a bit of an overpowering presence in a small room, and seems more well suited to a moderately large bedroom or a living room.
You’ll also probably want to disable the loudness option which can make the bass output of the Revo SuperSystem somewhat overpowering in some rooms.
The Revo SuperSystem also includes several useful audio output options. The rear panel sports both a Toslink optical digital output and a pair of stereo analog outputs. The front panel also includes a very useful headphone output for personal listening (a nice feature which is rather uncommon on networked music players).
Construction and Aesthetics
The Revo SuperSystem offers an interesting combination of modern and retro styling which we find very attractive. The cabinet, which is made of actual wood, is available in black or white paint finishes, or in a very attractive furniture grade American walnut (we enjoy seeing real wood like this). The front panel, made of anodized aluminum, comes in black, white, or silver. Together they offer a variety of interesting and attractive combinations. (We preferred the all-black Shadow Edition or in White)
In appearance, the Revo SuperSystem really does resemble a traditional high end table radio. Its cabinet is a long low rectangle. The main front firing speakers sit behind perforated metal grilles on the left and right thirds of the faceplate. The center third of the front panel of the Revo SuperSystem is occupied by the control panel.
The top part of the control panel is filled by a mysterious black plate, which illuminates to become a clear, easy to read white OLED display when you use the controls. To the right of this display sits the power button, a select button, and a tiny little fingertip joystick you use to navigate the menu. The bottom portion of the control panel is occupied by an array of buttons.
The buttons are used to access sources directly, and to operate commonly used functions like jumping to the previous or next track. Yes, there are a lot of buttons – 26 of them to be exact. And, yes, they do make the Revo SuperSystem look sort of complicated, but they really are useful.
Overall, the Revo SuperSystem is attractive and very solidly built, and there are plenty of color options to fit almost any room décor… although all of them share a somewhat classic or retro vibe… the Revo SuperSystem looks like a fancy futuristic table radio.
The Revo SuperSystem is controlled by a rotary knob on the top of the cabinet, a small fingertip joystick to the right of the front panel display, and several rows of buttons arrayed along the bottom of the front panel.
The little joystick may seem unusual at first, but is quite convenient once you become accustomed to using it. The buttons – 26 of them – may seem intimidating at first, but it’s really convenient to be able to access all your sources using individual buttons (without having to wade through menus to do everything).
(Some people prefer a simple clean control panel, with one or two controls, and menus to access each function. Others prefer lots of separate controls, each with a specific purpose, and being able to change an input or make a selection by pressing one or two buttons, without having to use a menu. We found the SuperSystem’s combination of controls to be well thought-out.
It seems reasonable to be able to select an input, or skip to the next track, by pressing a single button; but you really need a video screen to pick radio stations or songs from a list. The folks at Revo really seem to have picked the right control for each function… and the screen, which is sharp and easy to read, and only lights when you’re using it, is very cool.)
Last but not least, the Revo SuperSystem includes a relatively full featured standard infrared remote control. (We like this; not everyone has their phone or tablet handy all the time.) And, finally, yes, it also has an alarm function.
UNDOK Remote App + SideSync [Video]
The UNDOK Multi-Room Control App
Revo’s remote control application for the Revo SuperSystem is called UNDOK. UNDOK is available for IOS and Android devices, and allows you to control up to five compatible Revo devices. UNDOK allows you to control what tracks are being played in each room, and allows you to route music being played through one Revo SuperSystem via Bluetooth or its Aux Analog Input to Revo devices in other rooms.
The UNDOK program is a lot simpler than the Apps provided with many other systems, but it does provide basic control, and it is relatively simple to use.
Get the UNDOK App below from the Apple store or the Google Play store:
UNDOK Presentation [Video]
The Revo Product Family
The Revo product family isn’t really an ecosystem like some of the other products we’ve reviewed. You can use the Revo UNDOK application to control up to five Revo SuperSystem or Revo SuperConnect players, but it doesn’t work with most other Revo devices. (The Revo SuperSignal is a free-standing DAB radio and Bluetooth player which looks like part of the SuperSystem family, but it lacks most of the advanced features, and doesn’t work with UNDOK.)
What’s The Scoop?
If you’re looking for a networked audio solution that supports almost every audio source you’re likely to want, then the Revo SuperSystem may be for you. It delivers good quality sound, connects to a wide variety of music sources, and has lots of features. Being able to play music files from a USB stick is an important feature that many players leave out (and the SuperSystem even supports industry standard FLAC files). We also liked the fact that they included a front panel headphone output, which is really nice for personal music listening.
There are, however, a few things that you should know.
For one thing, while the Revo SuperSystem supports a variety of different sound sources, it does have some limitations. Just about the only streaming services it supports internally are Spotify Connect and Internet Radio. In order to use most other services, you’ll have to connect to them with your phone or computer, then stream the audio to your Revo SuperSystem using DLNA or Bluetooth.
This isn’t a big deal, but it means that you can’t always just turn on the SuperSystem and use it to stream audio by itself. (Sonos, for example, has all the software for lots of different streaming services built in.)
Also, while we like the SuperSystem’s USB input for stick drives and smartphones (which can also charge your devices), we would have liked to see a USB DAC input for digital audio from your computer (the Toslink input is handy for a TV, but few computers have Toslink outputs).
We also wanted to point out that the Revo SuperSystem is more of a streaming music client, and a really good one, than a multi-room system. For example, you can control multiple Revo products from the control app, and synchronize play across multiple rooms, but the system doesn’t seem designed to do things like control one device from another.
If you’re listening to an album in the living room and you go to bed, you can use the control app to instruct the bedroom device to play your album, but you won’t be hitting a button on the Revo in the living room to “send” your album to the bedroom. It’s a fine distinction, and one that you may or may not notice.
Finally, it would be nice if there was a Windows version of the Revo UNDOK control app. (Since you can use a Windows computer with a DLNA server to stream music to your Revo SuperSystem, it would be nice if you could also control it from there.)
We give the Revo SuperSystem very high ratings as a powerful self contained streaming music client. However, we give it somewhat lower ratings in terms of pure audio quality, which is good but not exceptional. The Revo SuperSystem also fails to deliver the superb multi-device and multi-room integration of systems like Sonos.
However, all-in-all the SuperSystem can be described as a Wireless Speaker and DAB radio on Steriods and that is why it deserves it's place in our best wireless speakers list. If you want something different and versatile, then the SuperSystem in for you.
Specifications and Incidentals
Dimensions: 17” wide x 9” deep x 6.5” high
Weight: 21.6 pounds
Revo SuperSystem Colors