“Portable Bluetooth loudspeakers can be something of a mixed bag,” says Jon Myles, writing in the June 2016 issue of Hi-Fi World. “There’s a delicate balance to be achieved – light and small enough to be carried around, yet sufficiently sturdy in their construction and driver arrangement to make them a rewarding listen.”
The Riva S aims to address both of those challenges head-on. Light and petite out the outside, on the inside it packs seven drivers – three active, firing right, left and forwards, plus four passive bass radiators. It’s an unusual arrangement, designed to deliver a bigger soundstage than might otherwise be expected from its bijou dimensions.
“Yes, it’s compact,” agrees Myles, “but the little Riva S is also rather potent.”
Awarding the maximum five stars and an ‘outstanding’ rating, he concludes that at £199 the Riva S “isn’t the cheapest portable Bluetooth loudspeaker available – but it is certainly one of the best.”
Fast forward to the July issue of Hi-Fi Plus… will Chris Martens agree? And how will the Riva S stack up against its big brother, the Turbo X, also reviewed by Martens/Hi-Fi Plus in March 2016?
Behind the Riva brand is a firm called Audio Design Experts (ADX), led by President and Chief Engineer Donald North alongside Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Ricky Farr. “North also builds bespoke, world-class headphone amplifiers highly coveted among in-the-know personal audio cognoscenti,” notes Martens. Farr, in the meantime, has rubbed shoulders with “a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of influential rock artists” and sports an impressive list of certified gold and platinum records on which he has collaborated in various ways. In short, they’re quite a team. “They know how great music ought to sound and they have designed their Bluetooth speakers accordingly.”
The result? Expect “a big, wide soundstage”, “palpable depth and width,” and a “naturally warm, full-bodied and dynamically lively sound.”
“When people first hear the Riva S they tend to stare in wonderment,” enthuses Martens, “since the uncanny illusion is that the perceived source is considerably wider and taller than the diminutive Riva S speaker enclosure.”
“With the Riva S, ADX has managed to shrink both the size and the price of its original Turbo X, while retaining nearly all of its most desirable performance characteristics.”
Riva “has another winner on its hands.”
Find out more at http://rivaaudio.com
For details of local dealers contact Riva’s UK distributor, Decent Audio www.decentaudio.co.uk