Ruark Backpack II: Wishing Sonos offered something similar

The new BackPack II transforms our R1 deluxe tabletop radio and MR1 wireless speakers into completely portable products. It frees these miniature marvels from the mains power socket and into the bathroom or onto the decking and the great outdoors. Placing batteries inside takes valuable speaker capacity which can result in unrefined sound, but BackPack II allows R1 and MR1 to retain their rich mains powered performance, but with complete portability.

A total evolution of the original, BackPack II attaches seamlessly to R1 and MR1 and once fitted can be left permanently in place as it charges automatically whenever the music systems are connected to a mains power supply. A full charge will deliver up to twelve hours of mains free listening depending on volume.

Whilst the material design of the Backpack II may not be terribly elegant, the use case it solves is a common one (wanting to use a wireless speaker or radio system a distance from a power supply, but still within range of a wifi signal – for example, in the garden or by a pool).  The device can be used with mains power day-to-day, and then disconnected and used on battery power when required.

I’d love to see Sonos or a third party offer a similar solution for the Play:1

(There have been several discussions on the topic on the Sonos community forums, with rumours that Sonos worked on a battery solution for a couple of years but shut it down. One can hope!)

Need a battery or charger for your laptop?

As we get closer to Lotusphere, thoughts turn to devices, power and batteries – do I have enough battery life to get me through the flight, will I be able to charge my laptop or phone at the conference etc.

Well, if those questions to crop up at this late stage, give a thought to trying  You’ve probably already seen their banner at the bottom of posts on this blog:


a) They are really really good when it comes to original or 3rd party chargers/batteries for all the popular manufacturers (Dell, HP, Toshiba, IBM etc). They usually have stock and can ship same-day.  In fact, in many cases when you contact the manufacturer for a part it will be that ship it to you.
b) They are great for the older systems that aren’t well supported by either the manufacturers or big e-commerce sites out there.  If they haven’t got something in stock, they will find it for you if possible.
c) They also sell mobile phone chargers, batteries and accessories – particularly for Blackberries.
d) They are lovely lovely folks – I should know ‘cos the owners are my brother- and sister-in-law – Mark and Laura.  They don’t pay for advertising on this site – we just like to get the word out as they do a great job.

They have an online shop, but if you need something before the ‘Sphere, you’re probably best calling them direct.  They’re on 0845 22 22 888 and serve the UK.

Give them a try!