“Truly excellent”: Hi-Fi Plus reviews Riva’s Arena wireless loudspeaker

Riva’s WAND (Wireless Audio Network Design) series of multi-room wireless speakers gives you best-in-class audio with the freedom and flexibility to easily listen to anything you want, however you want and anywhere you want. Hi-Fi Plus editor Alan Sircom runs the Arena model past a discerning pair of audiophile ears in the magazine’s September issue.

“Since Riva first hit the streets with its Turbo range of Bluetooth speakers, there has been something of a buzz about the company,” writes Sircom. The company’s ‘dream team’ of former rock and roll impresario Rikki Farr and audiophile engineer par excellence Donald North may well have something to do with that. “But ultimately it came down to the products,” says Sircom, “which delivered more of the musical goods than it should have been possible to achieve,” given their small size and low cost.

Riva Arena in white, front view

There are two models in Riva’s new WAND series: the Arena reviewed here and the larger Festival model. Like the aforementioned Turbo models, the WAND series features the company’s patented Trillium DSP system, engineered to deliver a stereo sound from a single speaker.

Riva describes the WAND Series as “the next generation of multi-room.” So what’s ‘next gen’ about it?

“Arena gets clever, fast,” says Sircom, with its inbuilt Chromecast device which delivers all of the latter’s benefits “without having to worry about lost or broken dongles.” As well as giving the Arena an ‘away’ mode, allowing a multiple network of loudspeakers without an available Wi-Fi network, it also allows you to access the WAND devices through a range of different options. “If you have a smartphone, through one of about a dozen apps. If you have an Android phone, make that about two dozen apps. If you have Google Home, you are good to go, too… basically, so long as you remembered to join the second decade of the 21st Century before plugging the Arena in, everything should be plain sailing.”

Riva Arena in black, top view

“You can tell that the Riva design team is audiophile-directed, because this little speaker is designed to sound good.”

“As a portable music zone both in and around the home, it’s truly excellent.”

“Deceptively powerful… it’s light, fast and pacy, without edging over to overt brashness or hardness.”

“The Riva Arena is all about putting the fun back in music, and it does that beautifully…. It delivers the kind of sound that is more than acceptable to even the most snobbish of audio enthusiast. It’s fun, flexible, fun, fun, reasonably priced, fun, sophisticated, fun, and fun.”

Read Alan Sircom’s full review in the September 2017 issue of Hi-Fi Plus.

Discover more about the Riva WAND Series at rivaaudio.com

Track down your nearest Riva stockist via UK distributor Decent Audio.

Review credit: Bope PR.