The thrill of soundsystems at events is hard to beat: speakers stacked high into the air and powering out breath-taking music, sending crowds into raptures. Riva is aiming to distill this essence into its new WAND (Wireless Audio Network Design) Series of multispace wireless speakers. Comprising two speaker units, the chunky Festival and more portable Arena, Riva have delivered impressively on this aim.
The speakers are quick and simple to set up, supporting the range of connectivity options with Bluetooth, Google Cast, Wi-Fi, AirPlay, DLNA, Google Cast, Spotify Connect and Aux-In all compatible. They’re also controllable using the Riva WAND and Google Home apps, making for great ease of use. Testing these we found no connectivity issues.
Aesthetically, the speakers look slick, available in sleek black or pristine white designs. The sound is big and full, thanks to Riva’s patented Trillium technology which produces stereo sound out of single speakers and the speakers’ support of high resolution audio up to 24-bit/92kHz. The Festival packs enough punch to fill a large room, sounding strong across the breadth of Mixmag HQ. At close quarters, the smaller tower-shaped Arena sounds nearly as bold. Both speakers pack the bassweight power to make low-ends sound robust and heavy, but also have the clarity to make detail at the higher ends stand out. They’re ideal for dance music, with those forceful techno basslines and higher synth-led house melodies each coming through in crisp detail. All manner of codecs are also supported, including MP3, ALAC, FLAC, WAV and WMA, so all of the gems in your digital DJ bag should be compatible.
The Arena has a battery pack slot, although at £89.99 it doesn’t come cheap. It does however provide up to 20 hours of battery life at a fairly high volume. More than enough time to carry around the house or take on a day out as a portable system. It’s also splash resistant and has a USB slot through which devices can be charged, so will be handy at a festival for playing tunes while recharging your mobile at the campsite.
The Festival is also splash resistant and has a USB slot, and the speakers are able to connect to over 30 other devices, including non-Riva Chromecast devices, to form extensive linked systems. So if you want to throw your own festival in your garden, that’s also an option.
The Arena costs £224.99 and the Festival is priced at £449.99. Head to Riva’s website for further details.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter